Selco: Moving Around (with Purpose) When the SHTF

by | Feb 18, 2019 | Headline News | 30 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published by Selco at The Organic Prepper

    I called this article moving around with purpose when SHTF with clear intention.

    SHTF, especially early stages may be a good opportunity to acquire things through looting, scavenging, or whatever you may call it. However, it is also a good opportunity to end up dead.

    So, my advice, it is usually also NOT a good moment to go out without real purpose (or without right purpose) just to “check out what s going on.” In other words, curiosity kills the cat.

    It may be hard to resist to check ” what’s going on”, I know it from personal experience, but try to find it out without sticking your head directly in.

    It may sound logical that if you hear screams and shots in the middle of SHTF to run there and to check what’s going on, but it is much more logical to stay home and prepare in the best possible way for the cause of those screams to come to you.

    Come up with a clear plan of who stands where, who takes who, where are the ways for bugging out, and what each member of your family is gonna do on your mark.

    It is an example only, a drastic example, I admit.

    An article about moving when the SHTF for a lot of people may be like” I’ll have my gun, my buddies, and drill”, which is very simplyfied, and only part of bigger, much bigger picture.

    Routes for moving when the SHTF

    When we talk about moving when the SHTF in an urban area, it is impossible not to mention routes and interesting points on our way wherever we go.

    Routes may (probably will) be quite different from our regular routes in normal life, so what you need to do today is to sit down and think about it. Let’s call them “alternate routes” through your city or area.

    What I have in mind is how you can go from point A to point B using that alternate way. Throw into practice the fact that you are using these alternate ways because you want to avoid people.

    Now you need to know that you cannot cover all possibilities because of the nature of SHTF. There are gonna be a lot of new “points” of factors that you did not consider in your exercise.

    For example, maybe you planned to use an alternate road through some abandoned storage facility but you did not factor in the fact that the storage facility would become a place for some local gang, or a refugee center or whatever.

    What I want to say is that you cannot (as usual) plan for everything, but you can adopt a philosophy of alternate routes in your area.

    Every city has alternate routes, even today. When the SHTF it is just gonna become more complicated.

    Interesting points along the way 

    Points of interests or danger spots are everywhere throughout the city. They are in every city in normal times.

    So for example, these days in my city there are several spots where I would not like to go through during night time because certain kinds of people live and operate there. If I go there at night, it usually means that I am a guy who wants to buy drugs, a gun or a girl, or I am a policeman or an idiot.

    Now that is example of dangerous spot in normal times.

    When we are talking about SHTF, there is always gonna be danger spots concerning you moving through the city. The catch is in the fact that those spots may be changing based on a lot of facts.

    Here are only few examples, from real experience:

    • gas station
    • police stations
    • pharmacies
    • malls

    Now, in the beginning phases of SHTF, all of the above-mentioned places should be avoided because simply there will be a lot of violence around them.

    So if you are moving in the initial phase of SHTF you are avoiding them. There are rampages at the gas station because people want gas, at pharmacies because people want drugs, weapons at police stations, and all kind of goods in malls.

    Now it is the best advice not to go there because of the violence. But if you feel up to the task of going for example to the pharmacy in the middle of chaos to storm it – it is a very valuable resource.

    The choice is yours, but we are talking about safely moving through the city.

    In later phases of the SHTF, that gas station will probably become nothing, and the pharmacy too, but the police station and mall might be always dangerous spots, simply because of the infrastructure of the buildings. It may become perfect hiding place for people, or defending place for groups of people.

    So you’ll avoid it again – because of different reasons – but you’ll avoid it.

    In the beginning phase of SHTF, a bridge may be a dangerous place because it is a choking point, panic point. In later phases, that bridge may be a place where it is so easy to set up a checkpoint.

    All these above are examples only, and they may not work in that way in your case. But the concept will be the same or similar, and it is important to think about that concept today in simple times.

    Information giving, information taking

    By moving through the area, you are collecting a whole set of information. For example: is the way clear without obstacles? Is there a noticeable human presence in the building in front of you (smells, light, smoke, sounds…), and is it a threat? You will gather a whole bunch of other informations…

    At the same time, you are giving information about yourself to someone who is possibly watching you: how you dressed, armed, how you move, hove many of you there are, what are you carrying, etc.

    So, keep in mind that it is always a two-direction game and try to adopt that philosophy in your current task.

    Let’s say you are going to a trade meeting through the whole city to the other end of it.

    Are you going fully and visibly armed through the whole city, or are you crawling through the grass and mud and avoiding everything?

    Probably no to both.

    You are gonna choose to blend into your current situation based on circumstances around you. So if you are traveling through the region where there are people but they are not hostile, let’s say they are neutral, you are gonna travel through it in a less aggressive way. But you are still giving as little information about yourself as possible. Remember, you do not want to give a reason to not-hostile people to become hostile just because it is clear you are carrying something valuable.

    In a region where there is clearly hostility and danger, you will move in a different way and act differently, simply because circumstances are different.

    Remember this.

    Remember something: showing your weapon is more dangerous than not showing it. It is up to you to recognize at the moment what you are gonna do.

    You’ll be more often in situations when you should act and look neutral but ready for violence than to look openly aggressive and violent.

    About Selco:

    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.

    Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

    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 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. Historically, looting occurs as criminals and sociopaths/psychopaths use the conditions pre-collapse when LEOs are otherwise occupied to take useless consumer items. Looting during a collapse can result in incarceration as local government officials commandeer supplies. You can technically suffer lethal consequences on sight under various levels of martial law.

        Now harvesting is routinely done in the absence of rule of law. The average citizen is clueless about what is actually valueable. I have suggested various useful things to harvest like packaged animal antibiotics or herbs or emergency nonvolatile fuel at auto parts stores. Salt would be liberated as would pool shock and shallowpoint pumps. Grease collection at restaurants coud serve as biodiesel components as long as you have methanol.

        To flee, since the roads might be blocked, you might try using maps of rail tracks which are often on local maps. Otherwise a water craft would be far better and faster with less potential at restrictions. In a traffic jam, which can easily happen due to fleeing residents, you all are at risk beig stalled.

        Some crazies will use the emergency situation to even the score, so it’s nuts to head on face that nonsense. That takes orchestrated tactics to succeed. Your biggest concern is an enemy using fire during a collapse which would could completely out of control.

      2. Saw a great article on the “Renew America” site over this weekend by Cliff Kinkade . The evidence that he sights pretty much points to Russia/Cuba/ Venezuela as organizing and paying for the Caravans with the intent to destabilize and destroy the U.S., Immigration as a weapon.

        This makes sense to me as to why our own Left is so hell bent on destroying DJT. Also why President Trump is holding fast on the wall and fighting to stop America from becoming a full blown Socialist country.

        The article points a finger at Commie Obama as one of the actors with his racist intent to turn America “From White to Brown”.

        Mad Maxine Waters is already calling for protests which I believe given the Left’s history will turn violent. AMERICA IS FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE, GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC !

        Now watch out fur dem hogs, and read Luke 22:36

        • What does that “watch out for dem hogs” actually mean in Northern Florida? Feral hogs or more?

          • Maranatha, try reading “Unintended Consequences” by John Ross.

            • 500 pages too long, of preaching to the choir…

          • Brother, don’t y’all have wild hogs in KY? I thought coyotes and feral pigs were pretty much everywhere in the U.S.

            • ‘Course we do. I just wondered if it was a double entendre.

        • America is finished and has been for years now. They make laws chipping away at your gun rights. I’ve taken all us flags down cus I’m not gonna desecrate the flag with the gov we have now that imposes its will on us all. Nothing to be proud of anymore. It’s a joke.

        • Seminole Wind

          “The evidence that he sights pretty much points to Russia/Cuba/ Venezuela as organizing and paying for the Caravans with the intent to destabilize and destroy the U.S., Immigration as a weapon.”

          Like to see the “evidence”. Regardless I smell George Soros and/or or his brethren.

      3. We all know who riot and loot the most. That’s not to say others don’t do it at all, it’s just that they aren’t so much inclined as blacks. So, no matter what happens, you will be safer away from black neighborhoods, even if, especially if, you are black yourself. Ironically, in spite of all the bogus claims of evil white supremacist white people, white people are the last to commit acts of violence against anyone of any race. Anyone of any race will be safest in a white neighborhood in America.


        • Those that are inherently lawless in normal times will take advantage the minute that law enforcement is unavailable. It was shown in Los Angeles with Rodney King riots, “I’m stealing this TV in the name of Rodney King”. A few weeks out when food and necessities become scarce white, black, red & yellow will blend in as civility is the luxury of a full stomach. Granted those with a predisposition for violence, especially in groups, will be the greatest threat (experienced) but that is a two edge sword; they’ll also prey upon each other.

      4. Few if any of us have been through what the author has . However I have been through many hurricanes and know that like the rest of us, you prepare early and try to avoid grocery stores, gas stations, and places that sell liquor pre/post storm as desperate people do desperate things sometimes.

        Be careful not to be gored by a wild pig. Happy?

        • Have you ever heard the joke about “coyote mornings”. I thought when you said “dem hogs” it meant both feral hogs and human hogs too.

          • Yup, both.
            Actually it’s a line from my favorite movie as a kid, “Old Yeller” . ” Watch out fur dem hogs”

            Afterward they kid gits “hog cut”.

        • SW, I used to butcher Hogs usually was done right about this time of year. We don’t have ant feral hogs here yet, but some boys I know who head south to hunt them say they sometimes don’t taste too good. I guess it depends on what they have been eating?

          • Down here it’s usual to take just the ribs. Sum folks hunt’m with Pit Bull dogs. The dogs grabs the hogs ear and the Hunter slits the pigs throat, I am told.

            • Semi,
              Pretty much how we do it in Hawaii, except we breed “Pig” dogs, that are very much more sociable. My dogs get along with my cats. My cats are trained not to run. My dogs will kill anything that runs.

          • ref — hog taint

            In case any cannibals are reading, I am very hormonal.

            • if worried about cannibles…dress as a clown. everyone knows that cannibles won’t eat clowns… because they taste funny.

          • reper,
            I have about #10 pounds of smoked wild pig in my freezer right now.
            Tastes great! Pig hunting for food is very common here. The wild pigs feast on macadamia nuts, guava, sugar cane roots, and whatever.
            Kalua pork is a local delicacy, so to some degree you are right. The animals diet can determine taste. Most all my beef is grass fed and it is very different from the cr ap you buy at Safeway.

            • Deer harvested from farms that eat corn and soybeans taste like beef with no liver gamey taste. You are what you eat. In Florida they trap wild pigs and there are a hell of a lot of them, feed them corn for a while before slaughter. Otherwise they dine on a lot of grubs.

            • i had a wife once who told me about the pigs they raised. her dad did a lot of shad-fishing that year, and they didn’t freeze well, so he fed the fish to the pigs. evidently it was a LOT of fish. they sent the pigs to slaughter, and when the meat arrived, it smelled so bad of fish, that they had to throw it all out……yes, you are what you eat!

      5. One thing I did was get on Google Earth and take screen shots of the area I’d travel on foot to get to my BOL. Putting copies in my BOB’s and having notes etc would help out greatly if I need to identify certain landmarks on my way there .

        • Since 2000 there were GPS devices that interfaced with computers and one could see depictions of the terrain in 3D and spin it to show the effects of which bearing the hiker was taking.

          Of course now one can look this up online for free.

          I have long suggested having a relief map as that immediately will show alternative routing and needs no interpretation versus a topo map. Obviously that is a consideration when bugging out with your family who cannot read a topo map.

          You should always consider that you won’t make it, but they might.

          Regardless, if one has BOL details on a handheld device, they should be encrypted, otherwise you BOL will just be a target.

          • Using a GPS, you can plan “waystations” along a route and thus your family then is made aware of ideal places to stop which have water access and ground cover and are defensible. An open plain is a lousy place to find firewood or build a debris hut, right? Can’t get far without water.

            It seldom makes sense to ascend an unknown mountain as the expenditure of calories and cold weather bring their own issues as well as risks. You generally skirt a mountain and especially with a family.

          • ULR2fy34aWM
            Let’s say one had to cross the Rockies with a family. Would it be easier to teach them to read a topo map quickly or read the relief map like the one in the video? The relief map of course.

            There are free ones for your region and very fine one you can acquire, and these would offer fast ways to plan tactics or escape routes.

            They are a very underutilized resource.

        • that’s always a good idea, along with some plastic to protect them.

      6. This is a time when your pre-established ham radio net (such as AmRRON) will become priceless.

      7. You can walk the entire length of the Lewis and Clark trail, which is 3700 miles, and avoid the enemy, and then consider yourself the best survivalist who ever lived, but without Jesus Christ, you will be roasting in Hell.

        Wake up.

      8. The safest way to move would be solely at night but most likely using railroad tracks and bridges as walking along the road will undoubtably lead you to highwaymen living under overpasses. It’s foolish to walk along trails at night unless you know that terrain like the back of your hand. You sure couldn’t use lighting.

        Smuggler routinely slipped under cover of darkness by using rivers during wartime to evade patrols.

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