Urban Survival vs. Rural Survival: Selco Explains How Even the Best Plans Can Go Horribly Wrong

by | May 25, 2018 | Headline News | 63 comments

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    This article was originally published by Selco at The Organic Prepper

    Urban survival vs. rural survival is a near-constant debate in preparedness circles. Those who live on acreage sometimes scoff at those who live in cities for reasons of business, education, or families. Those who live in the cities feel obligated to defend their choices. The truth of the matter is that there IS no perfect plan, and even if you had one, SHTF might have other ideas. In this reality check, Selco explains how even the best survival plans can go horribly wrong when the SHTF. ~ Daisy

    by Selco

    I write almost always about urban survival because of a few simple reasons:

    1. I survived SHTF in an urban environment, so I write about it from my own experience.
    2. The majority of us actually live in urban settings, so there is a reason why we need to pay more attention to preparing for urban survival.
    3. Most of us who live in urban settings have a plan (me too) to bug out to some kind of rural setting in order to have a better chance of survival. But the sad truth is that a lot of us will fail to bug out on time because of numerous reasons.

    As a result, a number of us who have a good BOL in a rural setting will still end up surviving in an urban area.

    Generally, I think it is much better to be out of the urban area when SHTF. But we don’t always get what we want no matter how good our plan.

    Urban vs. Rural Survival

    The whole dilemma of urban vs, rural has become pretty useless because people imagine that what they need in order to survive is to just run away from a populated area into woods and they will be perfectly fine.

    While I do agree that bugging out from the populated areas is a good thought and a good start, it should not be the end of your planning. You may find out that after you run from the chaos in the city, you face a whole new range of problems (a lot of them very challenging) in wilderness settings.

    It is not a simple decision and simple plan. Choosing between urban and rural (or the wilderness) should be based on careful planning and preparing. All that usually takes years.

    Without planning, it makes more sense when the SHTF to bug-in and take your chances in the city.

    What was it like in rural settings when the SHTF? 

    As I’ve written many times, I spent my SHTF time in urban settings, but many of my friends and relatives were in rural settings and small villages instead of the urban centers.

    How was it?

    Very bad, but what is really important it was also much better than in the cities for many reasons.


    People in rural settings here still lived partly from their land. Yes, they did have modern houses, electricity, hot water, etc. A lot of them lived in villages but worked in cities. But the important thing was that they had a connection with their land and their surroundings.

    A lot of them had chickens, crops, and vegetables. A majority of them were hunters.

    So, when SHTF yes, they did lose connection with the outside world, electricity, water maybe, and regular transport of goods, but they still had resources around them in huge quantity, and most of them did have knowledge of how to use that resources.

    They had woods around them with animals that they could hunt, rivers and creeks for water sources, and their land.

    I think when SHTF they were using maybe 30% of their land for food growing, and of course, they switched very fast to using all of it for growing.

    They had the opportunity to grow everything, including tobacco, and of course, homemade alcohol.

    Life became much harder than in normal times, but compared to urban areas, it was paradise.

    One thing that was important and good there was that they had a much better generational knowledge and preparedness for a hard life.

    No matter how modern they were, they lived a harder life in normal times than city folks, and getting used to SHTF situation was much easier to them than for city folks.

    Also, their knowledge about natural remedies, home medicines, or simply about delivering babies at their homes was much better and still fresh.

    Bugging out to the wilderness or rural area

    There is a popular myth that if something serious happens and you are living in the city you simply will go and bug out into the wilderness.

    It is a very nice thought, and it is tempting to imagine that while cities are exploding in violence you will be happy somewhere in woods.

    A whole prepping philosophy and industry are based and built on that picture.

    I did have a very short period (several days) of surviving during SHTF in a wilderness setting and it was hell for me. If I learned anything from that episode it is the fact that either you have to be a real master of wilderness survival (it is possible, but I really met very few people like that) or again, you need to have really serious preparations prior to the event together with a network of good people.

    A lot of “mainstream” wilderness preparedness is based on shorter terms events, or “until help arrives”.

    Being in a situation where you need to survive in the wilderness for a prolonged period of time lowers your chances a lot.

    You may have a premade BOL location somewhere in the wilderness, a cabin for example with a really good stash of everything. That, of course, raises your chances for survival in the wilderness. But sooner or later you will (in a prolonged event) you will eventually come down to the-wilderness-your skills equation.

    Not too many people are actually ready for that.

    Being in small rural places, together with other people around you sounds much better, and I kinda lean to that solution. Actually, my BOL location is just like that. It is a small village where I have resources and the help of like-minded people.

    You need both. Resources and trusted people away from urban area. 

    “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

    It is great to have plans, but it is even greater to stick to reality, common sense, and experience. When the SHTF you do not have a clue where you may end up. You might be forced to adapt and bend your plans a lot.

    The biggest mistake people make is that they are confident they have the perfect BOL but due to circumstances they are forced to bug in, and they did not plan at all for bugging in. Or opposite.

    SHTF is a completely new event, and as much you plan for it, there are variables that you can simply can’t factor in.

    Those variables may completely change your plans of where you want to be when it happens.

    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 like 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. Read more of Selco’s articles here: https://shtfschool.com/blog/ And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here: https://shtfschool.com/survival-boot-camp/

    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 Luther is the author of The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide To Whole Food on a Half Price Budget.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]</e


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      1. Selco, one of your best articles yet. I have a BOL in a rural area to go to when the time comes. Leaving for the BOL during the right time frame is only part of the key to rural survival. Having a sufficient stockpile of weapons, ammo, medical supplies, food, water, water purification gear, and other survival supplies is very, very essential. Having the right kind of plan for defending your supplies is also important. My last time at the BOL was in the first half of April. Every time I go there it becomes a drill for me. I have several different routes I use to get there and back. I use one route to go there and a different route to get home so I know the routes by heart. I keep close tabs on everything happening so I can determine whether it’s time to leave. Most of my supplies are already at the BOL under lock and key so all I have to load up is a few bags in the bag of the truck and go. I keep a full tank of gas in the truck at all times. I never get below a half-tank. You just never know.

        • My real life SHTF experience in the hurricane last year: “We had four days warning before the storm. As soon as the forecast was made transportation off the island as well as goods and services became prohibitively expensive if they were even available. Also, some people didn’t evacuate because they couldn’t afford it, were medically unable to, or were worried about their property. You can say “your stuff can be replaced, your life cannot” but in reality if you wind up financially destitute your life may not be much worth living anyway. Still clueless politicians were on TV screaming “why don’t these stupid people evacuate?!” before returning by helicopter to their mansions with their armed guards well out of harm’s way.
          I agonized over the decision to bug out or bug in. I decided to shelter in a strong building on high ground many miles away from my house with only a few other people that I knew to obviate the possibility of drowning in the flood, at the high cost of leaving the vast majority of my preps behind. Realize even if you have a vehicle you can carry only enough preps to last you for a few days. What I had with me at the BOL: food, water, a pocket water filter, pocket stove, fuel, two handguns, headlamp, lead sap, handheld ham radio, medkit, blanket, body armor, helmet, and raingear. The rest of my preps I buried underground at night in several waterproof containers on the highest points I could find near my home. I turned off the main breaker, shut off the water, stopped the toilets with rubber balls and bugged out in the middle of the night and made a smooth getaway to the BOL. People who waited for later to move to another location found the roads to be gridlocked, gas supplies nonexistent, and tempers flaring. Many outbreaks of violence occurred in places where people were fighting over supplies. The looting started as soon as people evacuated and was widespread throughout SHTF. I even heard criminals were looting during the storm itself and some got killed. At first they steal useless shit like TVs, jewelry, shoes, etc. Later on in SHTF they will come for your preps.
          Riding out the storm was fucking horrific. I wore the body armor and helmet and emerged the next day unharmed. People who were injured in the storm were not able to get a medic for at least several days and some died. You need to be trained in First Aid and CPR at a very minimum. There were no supplies in stores; no power, no water, no sewage. Most people were homeless and desperate. After the storm the police set up barricades and curfews and wouldn’t let anyone back in. This was necessary so that the government could clear the roads, restore utilities, stop arcing cables, move the dead bodies from the streets, and set up supply depots and homeless shelters.
          So I was trapped at my BOL desperate to get past the roadblock back to my house and preps and worried about looting. After several days of reconnaissance I buried most of the preps I had at the BOL and risked arrest or worse in order to circumvent the checkpoint. I made it back to my house at dawn in very bad shape. My structure was salvageable. After resting the next day I recovered my preps and brought them back to the house. Thereafter I had to go out in the daytime coming back several times a day to check for looting, make major repairs to my house in the evening, and sit up at night on guard. You may still have a job to go to in SHTF. Don’t forget you need tools, buckets, garbage bags, sanitary items, and cleaning supplies. In SHTF daytime is like a warped parallel of reality. Night is fucking downright scary. I had a gun in my hand at all times, even while taking a shit. It was not the least bit funny at all. It was horrible. I will never forget. It wasn’t badass or cool it was fucking harrowing and I have terrible nightmares now. I don’t know what I would have done if my preps would have been looted. After that I reburied some preps as insurance. If you have power should you turn the house lights on or off? I left them on every other night to show that someone was there to scare away looters, and left them off in the interval to avoid sending the signal that there might be people who had supplies. I also made use of night vision a lot to surveil my property. There was a loose association with my neighbors as far as helping each other out but I mostly kept to myself. Two of my nearby neighbors had generators running. You can hear that shit halfway across town. When the sun goes down you gonna have some visitors. Solar charger is much better actually. Beware of criminals knocking on the door claiming to be from the government and here to help you. When dealing with others in SHTF be polite and don’t lash out unless someone is threatening you. You don’t want to risk a fight in this environment. Probably you will have to get tough with a handful of people in SHTF. This isn’t posturing, you understand that? Tensions are sky high and this is for real. Forget about walking around outside with camo gear, armor, and assault weapons in SHTF. If the neighbors see that shit they will go fucking ballistic and think you’re a criminal. Good way to get shot actually. No matter how well prepared you are you will be begging for the government to restore order for the simple reason that desperate people around you are doing desperate things and this will only be stopped when their needs are met. Do you understand that? The lone wolf shtick is pure movie bullshit. You cant ignore the thousands of people around you even if you are out in the woods. I went to the government supply depots once every three days to gather more bottled water and food at the risk of leaving my preps unattended for a few hours. When I showed up I always made sure to look and act just like everyone else and be ready with a cover story for anyone who starts talking to you. Think about this very carefully. You want to tell them nothing important but get useful information from them. At that time I didn’t have my radio and was desperate for information. Rumors abounded and it was very hard to discern what was true from what was false. I got through SHTF using only bottled water. The only freshwater sources around were contaminated with raw sewage from broken pipes, rotten food from refrigerators, and piles of debris and garbage thrown into the streets. Bacteria permeated the air and people got sick. The stench was unbearable. Get some Vics Vapo Rub and wipe it under your nose. I got a horrible skin rash and was sick on my stomach and weak throughout SHTF; the only foods I could keep down were bland items such as mashed potatoes, plain rice and beans, and cereal. I couldnt eat any MREs. I tried to keep myself clean with a solar shower filled with salt water combined with sanitary wipes and mouthwash. I didn’t dare use a shower even when the water came back on if anybody hears that they will know you have water and come knocking. When I used my portable toilet I decontaminated it with digestive enzyme and other hygienic supplies. I lost a lot of water through diarrhea. Gatorade can help this. I threw the waste into a small pit I dug. You live like an uncivilized animal and it demoralizes you day by day. Buy a lot more air fresheners for SHTF. How much bottled water should you have? A LOT, as much as you can.
          I was always the gray man in public. Don’t give anyone a reason to be interested in you. Never try to be the big man barking orders someone will quickly challenge you. The least said, the least noticed. Be mega careful what comes out of your mouth. Don’t trust anyone. And I mean ANYONE. A friend today is a vicious desperate man tomorrow. Especially avoid people with kids. If asked by friends, family, or coworkers about your situation the best answer is: “I have some major repairs to make and I have people living with me but with a lot of hard work we’ll get by and we are getting on better than other people Suzy and Tommy across the street have it worse blah blah blah.” Say whatever you have to to convince others that you have nothing to offer them yet you aren’t doing bad enough for them to come over and investigate, visit you, or try to “help” you. You don’t need people asking questions. However, you might very well need help to repair your house. It’s a judgment call. For the first week after SHTF people were kum ba yah but that soon faded and people became impatient and lashed out at each other. Is everyone in SHTF aggressive? Absolutely not. It’s a situation that brings out the best and worst in people. I saw touching acts of kindness performed for total strangers. And I saw people tear each other apart. The bad people tend to chase the good people out, unfortunately. You must have cash reserves at all times. Carry some on you and hide some as you could very easily get robbed. Slowly in SHTF normalcy resumes. Eventually the barricades and the curfew were lifted and I returned to the BOL in the middle of the night to get my preps back. What I was most desperate to retrieve was my ham radio. Some stores eventually opened with progressively more stuff on the shelves. Alcohol was banned but being sold for very high prices on the black market. I myself got drunk while on guard duty the first two nights because of the stress. You should never do such a thing but allowances have to be made for your emotional reaction to what you see in SHTF. The utilities are eventually all restored for the people who can pay for them.
          Lessons Learned:
          Stop arguing about gun calibers and gadgets. Focus on tactics and logistics. Practice clearing a building for intruders and quick drawing. I had no use for long arms. A machine pistol platform such as the AR pistol, draco, uzi, mac-10 or a modern handgun such as the Glock with a rail to fit a red dot/light/strobe combination, this is best I think.
          Fat people will never be preppers. I’m fit and I still had a really rough time.
          Nobody wants to hear about politics during SHTF. They want problems fixed.
          The decision to bug out is the most important consideration in SHTF and it will have grave and lasting consequences for you. If you leave plan on never coming back. Make the decision as soon as possible. It may take a few days to get where you are going and you need to be days ahead of everyone else. And if you plan for your ass to be somewhere else your preps need to be there first. Everyone should have three places in mind to ride out a SHTF event.
          Practice bugging out and bugging in like it’s the real thing. Turn off the utilities and put rotten meat and shit in a bucket in the corner. No it’s not a joke.
          Don’t glamorize SHTF like the recent spate of end of the world movies. It isn’t funny, hip, or cool. SHTF is unfair, brutal, disgusting, exhausting and nauseating. I never want to do this again for the rest of my life.
          Timely information in SHTF is priceless. For example I was already long gone by the time the main evacuation started. If you are in a survival group start feeding them information even days before SHTF and stay in close communication till the event is over.
          I would prefer to be in a group of preppers but it is really hard to trust anybody with a huge responsibility like putting your life in their hands.”

          • Eisen, that’s some seriously tough shit for you to endure alone. Glad you got through it. Hats off to you.
            Stay quiet Be smart

          • Solid writing, and rather enlightening.

            I’m fortunate in that I’ve never experienced such things, but I think I can offer a different perspective, at least about location.

            A bit of background: I live in the sticks. Moved here awhile back. Most of the properties in my ‘neighborhood’ are logging leases owned by timber companies. I specifically moved out here because I wanted the rural life, and because I think my best chances are out here when SHTF.

            NOW… that said, here are a few things I learned along the way:

            First, you had damned well be prepared to live without modern conveniences even *before* SHTF. I have oil lamps for light, a wood stove for heat, books to stay occupied, buckets to get water out of a nearby year-round water source (and a couple of large water filters, with the means to improvise more if needed)… and I have used them.

            Why, how? Power can (and does) get knocked out by the occasional snowfall or ice storm (or some jackass knocking out a power pole), and it can stay out for days (and in one case, well over a week); this means I have to make my own lighting and heat. Oh, that power outage means the well was kaput, so I ended up filtering my own water on-the-fly, and dumping water into the toilet tanks 1-2x a day.

            I use a burn barrel for trash, because it is frickin’ expensive to get trash pickup. The big stuff I pile up until I can fill the truck bed and drive it to the dump.

            You have to be highly improvisational and creative out here. I’ve used a car jack to re-level a greenhouse whose foundation had sunk on one side. I’ve managed to string two 24″ pipe wrenches together and used them with a small fire built in the wellhouse to loosen a stuck wellhead cap.

            You have to learn a lot of esoteric stuff that will end up making your life much easier (and safer!). I’ve discovered that, as a dude, my taking an occasional piss here and there along the edges of my property deters coyotes and cougars from crossing onto the property (but the deer and rabbits don’t care). I can make a wicked-fertile pile of compost. I’ve learned (thankfully not the hard way) that sometimes you don’t want to grow squash or cucumbers form last year’s seeds (look up “squash poisoning”).

            You don’t keep a bug-out-bag in your car – you keep a get-home-bag, and it had better be far better stocked. On the plus side, I know exactly where I’d go – home. On the minus side, vehicles would be jammed-up, so I’ll probably be walking the whole way. It takes me 3-4 solid days of walking to get home from the center of downtown Portland in the winter (a test-walk in summer got me home in a day and a half – but warm weather, easy trails, and not having to do the whole evasion thing along the way to avoid other people helps big-time). This bag has food, some water, the means to get more water, drab-but-warm clothing, spare socks, a waterproof map, sturdy hiking shoes, a drab-but-warm coat, tools (knives, rope/cord, etc), and a weapon or two, just in case.

            Most of all, I’ve done a lot of calculation. Portland, OR (with its nearly 2 million people) is over 50 miles away, but at least 1/3-1/2 of that metro area are gonna want to evacuate out in my direction. Fortunately, 20 minutes and a chainsaw will block most of these roads and make them fully impassable by any vehicle, and most folks out here have no problems with doing just that should the need arises. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that I may be on the wrong side of one of those new blockades trying to get home. On still another hand, while I can still walk home, so can hordes of refugees on their way past my area on the way to the coast (not only because of milder temperatures, but because, as most folks say, “nobody has ever starved on the beaches here!”) So… I got that potential as well to deal with, depending on time of year, etc.

          • Eisen – yours and Selco’s are the best real-time depictions of SHTF scenarios. Living in South Florida I have made it through several hurricanes, but none like the one you went through. The most I had to actually survive was about 10 days during Wilma in 2005. Irma last year hit my location as a strong CAT 1 storm with wind speeds nearing CAT 2: torn roofs, broken windows, lots of broken trees on the roads preventing traffic, trees on cars, flooded streets, no power for a few days, but had running water. Learned a lot from those times, but learned a lot more from reading your experience. What you say about people is totally accurate. Have seen it first hand and these scenarios were not even close compared to yours. But you made it and it proves that with the right preparations one can survive doomsday events, however horrific and unpleasant the experience may be.

        • Be careful Cuz, remember, you had your house under lock and key one time too. How’d that work out for you?

          • Oh yeah Dep BH plan sounds great until they declare Martial Law and close off the Tennessee and Georgia State line crossing. Hwy 75 and all the rest of the highways and roads will be closed Alabama on down the line. And as he has dig out his BOB, abandon the other 90% of preps, including in his vehicle, and then walk another 200 miles through people properties and woods in N Georgia to get to Cuz’s Place. And all his years of Preps are in a shed in another state. lol Grat plan. NOT. Ain’t happening, you will whimper home to Memphis with your tail between your legs and hunker down in your apartment looking for plan B.

            And who wants to bug out to N Georgia anyway?…where Atlanta is located? When all the Spooks empty out of Atlanta into the cracks of N Georgia, they will be heading for the boonies in gangs, to rape pillage and plunder.

            Selco did not talk about anything Rural survival. He has no idea how to survive in rural country. And all you people in the cities, you better just hunker down in the cities, any squatters or trespasser enter my property out in the country, get a lead wake up call 3200 FPS. We don’t waste ammo by fire warning shots. DO NOT Enter. Comprende’ Padre? You trespass in the country you end up in the wood chipper.

            • Only thing I get out of the article is, “do NOT listen to Selco or do what he did.” Or you can be trapped in a living hell for years thinking you can hunker down in the populated cities and fight it out daily, to survive amongst the other unprepared dopes staying in the cities like him. lol Rape, pillage and plunder, theft murder, diseases, pandemics, germs, hungry hordes in the cities. The Lazy and those with no skills huddle like sheep in the cities for their cable TV. Its a deathtrap.

              Prepare now and dump your City shack for Country living. Do it now yet in relatively peaceful times. It will take a few years to get set up properly in the country for a decent BOL retreat. Do not live under Agenda 21 rules in the cities. Out in the country there are less rules/ just right.

              Remember if you think you are just going to come out of the cities when SHTF, and squat and live in my woods or any of my neighbors property, you are dead wrong. Trespassers will be shot. You need to buy your piece of land in your own name. Now you got something and a chance to survive the onslaught.

              • Boy those apes are going to love that fat, massive mouth of yours boy, get ready. They are going to wear out your mouth first and then destroy your rectal cavity with coon-nut…

              • Sounds like TSB is blowing hot air again.

              • I disagree with a LOT of what you wrote, but this part I not only agree with, but want to empathize:

                “Prepare now and dump your City shack for Country living. Do it now yet in relatively peaceful times. It will take a few years to get set up properly in the country for a decent BOL retreat.”

                1000x this. I moved out to my BOL home (not “retreat”, but my *HOME*) a few years ago. I learned a lot of things that are critical to living out here, that I definitely would not want to learn the hard way under a survival situation.

                For example: It took me two years of gardening to get together a system that can be maintained under primitive conditions. This means a garden with plants that grow well out here, produces good yields, produces seeds that can (safely and reliably!) be used the next year, and has a good nutritional balance. The garden is also set up big enough to supplement our grocery bill (about 30% of it – 50% after canning), and is built to resist pests that are common out here (especially deer, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, moles and voles.)

                The time to get all this skill and knowledge together is now, while you can still learn from failure (and failure only means you’re buying groceries.) If you’re stuck with learning all of this under threat of starvation, the stress is going to be enormous, to say the least.

                Living out here also taught me what and how to modify my home to best ride out collapse. Everything from heating, defensible space (against fire *and* people), livestock handling, enduring harsh weather conditions out at your BOL, knowing what wildlife roam your BOL (and their habits, their migration patterns, what seasons they appear most in, etc.)

                Stuffing everything in a shed and hoping you instantly know it when you arrive? Good luck with that.

            • OR.. end up in the Pig Pen LOL

            • You people out in the sticks seem to think you guys will all be good out there, uhhh NOT, the apes will eventually come and tap that white ass . . .those vile chimps do…

            • IN SHTF, the authorities will close down Interstates to stem the flow from the cities, but this will take days on end. Th trick is to leave before the crowd. Also, get a gazetteer paper atlas of the states you have to go through. They include all of the lesser secondary roads so you can bypass the interstates. Rand Macnally has them for all states, keep them in the trunk of your car/jeep/SUV. Do not count on an up-and-running GPS to guide you through.

              Locals will probably check point their gravels and dirt roads, and some county roads, but this will take days to set up as well, likely a week or two. The sooner one gets to their BOL, the better.

              • Thanks for mentioning GPS. GPS will funnel all you GPS users onto the same road, at the same time, and you all get to fight it out in Rush week traffic that comes to a halt, when some roofer dumps an entire big box of roofing nails on the highway to slow the herds down.

                Are you prepared to have 5 nails in each of your 4 auto tires? And your vehicle is stuffed with your most valuable preps, then then when you stop to check all your flat tires the armed bandits will come out of the bushes and loot your vehicle and take your daughter and your dog. Oh yeah bugging out is a great idea. You and 10,000 people in a mile’s stretch of highway all sitting there with flat tires and 10 more miles to the next exit.

                You also do NOT want to live near any major highway or where lots of traffic passes. Imagine 3AM you get a frantic knock at your door, and a dozen hoodlums want to come inside to get a drink if water and use your bathroom. And they all been drinking and stoned,

                Got so think about the “WHAT IF’s?”

                Bottom line: The one and only real threat out there, is the unpredictable Human element that will kill you for your vehicle. Deadly.

            • TSB, as long as I make it out during the right time frame I’ll be just fine. Spooks coming in Mine and the families’ direction? I doubt that. And even if they do, where the hell are they going to find food and water to sustain them for a foot trip in any direction? They’re too stupid to think about gathering enough food and water for that purpose or any other kind of prepping. Even if they did, all the shelves in Atlanta would be stripped bare before they would get anything. My BOL and the other relatives’ properties are not near any main highway. Even on the back road they’re located on the buildings are set way back from the road and can’t be seen. Even if they get lucky and locate anyone’s property they’ll encounter people like us with guns who will give them only one chance to turn around and leave on their own or get their stupid asses wasted.

          • NGIC, that won’t happen at the BOL or at the relatives’ properties.

      2. In seasonal natural-disaster country, SHTF happens at least once every 2-3 years. Life-threatening, life-taking, blackout, get you and your family by best way you can SHTF. Shooting, looting, protecting, moving, sleepless, foodless, waterless SHTF. But you better keep your urban arse out of the rural areas when this is going on. Just sayin….never come with nothing or knowing no one. The friendly farmer can be vicious when the time comes and is use to killing for protection and food. Do not just think you can jump in.

      3. 13 foods you can by once and regrow



          • Good video. My only complaint in the advice is the instructions to keep everything growing in water (like hydroponics). After the plant grows enough roots, it seems like putting it in soil is much better. Easy to put out its pot for summer and then easy to bring in the pot for windowsill gardening in the winter. Nothing against hydroponics, but it seems too easy to get rot unless you know what you are doing. This could simply be my ignorance on the topic though.

      4. Good article!

      5. If you can get a heads up start . If you do have a bug out rual location spend a few bucks and have a local farmer hit an area of fairly good size with his disc. Doesnt have to be perfect just good size. Half or quarter acre. Then go buy pound of sweet corn seed, quarter pound tomatoe seed, half pound green bean seed. Quarter pound of this and that a good variety and half ass plant it all. Its more like a food plot than a garden but even more so a head start insurance if shtf you will already have food growing. And dont worry about weeding it or hoe it or anything you would do for a pretty garden cus its only an emergency insurance plot already in place. You can buy bulk food seed cheap and dont worry if its not heirloom cus its an emergency insurance immediate source.

        • Then you can rummage through and reap a whole lot of food as it grows with no actual work and you will still come out ahead with a shit load of produce and peice of mind. What the bugs get or animals just leave lay on the ground then that gives reseed for the next year . Cucumbers pumpkin watermelon tomatoes

          • Gardening? How difficult can it be? Seed and shovels. Bam! Harvest time!

          • There are a lot of misconceptions about living in the country. You don’t have to live under a tarp in the woods, and eat bugs. Go to websites like “LANDWATCH dot com” and do a land search for what area you would like to live, and type in the criteria like 5 to 10 acres, water rights, rivers or lakes ponds etc. Its great to have that on your property as your owned assets for survival. Woods are great too, plenty of fire wood for cooking and a habitat for nature food plot, or trapping fishing and hunting.

            “Get OUT of the City Plan/ Steps” are this:
            1. While still trapped in the city, Start selling everything you own today, that is not Prepper or survival related. Get rid of all your big furniture and useless crap like TV’s and dust collectors, and stuff that fills your closets, sheds and garage. Hold large yard sales every weekend, and moving sales until it is sold, list your junk on Craigslist and get rid of it. Sooner the better. Just freeing up that sitting cash can buy you a few acres in the country. Some country land is less than $1000 per acre. Get your own property in your own name. That is the key to survival on your terms. Not squatting on someone else’s property in another State is not a plan, like your Cuz’s place. You get into an argument with them, and they kick you off, and you are screwed and live like a refugee in a van down by the river, being harassed by the cops daily for public camping and loitering. Go camp on your own land that you bought in your name.

            2. After getting rid of your useless City stuff, get your house cleaned up and ready to sell ASAP. Your city property should always be cleaned up and looking like you could list it on the market at anytime, Think curb appeal, and just plop the 4-Sale sign in the front yard and list it yourself on Zillow dot com. I listed my city house on Zillow and nearly got full asking price, and I sold it the first day, and only paid the finding Realtor 2.1% of the sales price, not the greedy 6 or 7% standard commission rate. Have plenty of standard “Property Sales Contracts” legal in your State, all ready and filled out, with all your info like your legal property description, for the buyers, and each buyer then can just fill in the blanks of their bid offer price and negotiate the price from there. Line up a Title Company and get the ball rolling, all deposits go into escrow at the Title company and released upon the final closing.

            Once sold, you will have equity, to buying your country BOL Dream and getting it set up. It is important to really down size and thin out your useless stuff before moving to the country or you will have to rent a large storage locker, to store your useless city crap or abandon it or give it away. And if you stop paying on that storage locker, you lose everything in the locker anyway, in confiscation to pay for your back rent you missed. So its better to sell all that crap to the other dopes still living in the city, before you head to the country.

            Selco has no clue how to move to the country and get set up with your own homestead. This is a useless article, and what not to do. Just creating a good moving plan, will remove the fear and stress. Stress out people are those who fail to plan. So Go get started today. What you waiting for? SHTF, then have to abandon everything you own in the city, including your house and property just to save your life in a forced bug out? You can’t fix stupid. Stay in the cities you die, or forced bug out you then become a refugee. That is not a good plan.

      6. Lot of good advice on SHTF.

      7. Just make sure you don’t bug out to an isolated area with no onee around for miles. The hords will just surround your place and wait you out. Be neighborly to the town your BOL is located in,make allies,friends,whatever,you’ll be ok when SHTF.

        • southside, you could NOT be more wrong. There is no way anybody will show up at my spots. Ratcheted up this year and already have 3 serious outings under the belt with full field gear and all weapons in use.

          We are in fact already in the melt down in case some of you have not figured it out. I am ready and glad of it, perfect timing for me. I have places most of you could not imagine and I already know I will be just fine ! Bring it on, tired of waiting on it. My only concern is the after affect and that will likely mean some killing has to take place upon return to the world. I have plan ABC and D all dialed in and very good at adjusting correctly.

      8. They assumed that the system was moribund or already besides the point. To them, society had already fallen. It wasn’t some future event, forever looming around the corner. They didn’t need to wait for it, wait for it.

        The simple act of drying seawater has political repercussions:

        Textiles, thrift, and herbal tea as a form of rebellion:

        The author is not writing on a level, at which people can make needful things, ex nihilo.

        In the West, people have stage coach parades, yet without making any. (Unless they are Amish.) It’s still considered to be beautiful and nostalgic. The equipment is still highly valuable, even in the 21st century, a stove going for hundreds or thousands of dollars and being incorporated into a modern home.

        In the East, silkworms are still grown in the attics, and fine, traditional crafts are still made from paper, earth, and wood. Some of the most valuable things on Earth, still come from the work of your hands, and common resources.

        Can’t they still do that, without any nominal, occupational, govt distribution system.

        It’s possible to make higher tech in cottage industries —
        SUV’s, tools, mechanical weapons, computers, and medical devices.

        But, there is supposed to be some kind subjective or artistic character to a digging stick and fire bundles. I’ve seen extremely-primitive stuff for sale, although I would like think that it was well executed.

        I am not saying to go out of your way to be provocative or raise any red flags, but your sole area of focus, in this discussion, is the system. You can forage or make things, anywhere, irrespective of the buildings or safety net. There doesn’t need to be any negative event for you to be self reliant. That could be something spiritual or artistic, like a hobby, which you’re already good at. Why not pretend that whatever it is has happened already, and be a good person, and go on with your life.

        Learn to make just at least one thing well, from something onhand, in whichever environment. It doesn’t require any civic emergency. Then, keep doing that. Ideally, don’t harm anyone or anything or break any tedious laws. Don’t engage with arguers about who is better.

      9. Your first problem with a rural retreat might be evicting squatters when SHTF occurs. It’s almost impossible to keep a bug out location secret from everyone. Even if it’s a underground bunker that you had built for you, the builders know of its existence even if no one else does. Still, it is better than sheltering in place in an urban area.

        The problem with growing food is that someone else might decide to harvest it. It’s impossible to guard it all the time.

      10. I may be exhausted from working the farm all day every day, but I cannot find a decent tip in the article.

        The comments are much more relevant and helpful.

        • Ketch,
          Perhaps it is because we live like this every day?
          I live in my BOL. The article is addressed to
          city people that don’t have a clue what it is like to
          live “somewhat independently” in a small village.
          I depend on modern things like everyone else,
          like the satellite connection allowing me to comment here.
          I can switch to 1800’s style living if necessary.
          as can most my neighbors.

          • Well put, rellik. 100%

            • My wife and I just spent about 8 hours finishing the planting of our garden, dropping a few dead firs and cutting them up, about 3/4 of a chord. Small dead trees. Over the last week I have been repairing our irrigation system. If we were Baristas and the shtf tommoro I don’t know how we could possibly get up to speed. It takes years to learn the necessary skills to grow your own food, do your own butchering, raise animals, Weld, keep your power generation systems up etc,etc, etc. Unfortunately, it is also not all that much fun. Ever look at the old photos of your ancestors. I know why they looked so glum! By the way did I mention having the huge amount of tools needed and the knowledge to use them. I’m glad I’m not a banker!

            • Been living over 3 years entirely off the Grid. Sold the city house and moved to the country. Bought a few acres remote and well protected with miles of swamps and gators around it. Just started camping on it, and a few months later moved a few buildings on it, and now a few years later, just now going though the process of permitting to get the rest up to code and legal occupancy and homestead protections. If I can do it, anybody well….Most can’t, because it is hard physical work. I prepared years in advance to do this and acquired all the tools and supplies beforehand. Got to have a plan.

              This place is a dense thick jungle with huge oak trees and Spanish moss hanging down. My Solar power is amazing, runs the fridge and lights, Internet and power tools. ROI in 4 years. Giddy up folks.

              You can die in the cities from the plague and violence, or get out now and buy a slice of the country, and living the dream and get your homestead set up. A buck and a pregnant doe are living on my property. Turkey, fresh water fishing, loads of wild life, all right here. Just toss out some corn daily for a food plot for wild critters that will come into feed. Wild pigs out here also, but they don’t come on my property. Its too remote for them. And I biked about 20 miles this AM in 1.5 hours on a Mt Bike. Good ride. Always consider a bicycle as a bug out vehicle. Mt Bikes can hit the trails for trail riding and stealth camping. Hook up a small pull trailer to carry your BOB, guns and ammo. I can ride about 12 to 15 MPH on average. You got to be in shape folks and have a good pair of hiking boots. I can also stealth kayak right from my property out into the wild for miles deep in dense wilderness and disappear for years if needed. Fishing gear and nets. .22 for game, .177 pellet for stealth hunting, 1200 FPS is great for a pellet gun. Pan fried fish daily is possible from the banks on m BOL property. All clean fresh water.

              • RWS made a 6G pellet pistol that is recoilles? And 700 feet per second ? Small light and powerful enough? Almost 500 bucks? Some say 177 caliber won’t anchor them? 22 pellet is better? Shot placement?

              • Good job WWTI.

                How high does the water get when you get a foot of rain?
                Do the glades flood your homestead? Sounds like a storm is coming your way.

                • I’m up and inland the Central N FL area, 45 Ft in elevation. Our canal will rise and fall if the Big Green swamp fills up, then empties out down the rivers to the Gulf. I moved away from the low Gulf city areas where my house there was just 8 Ft in elevation from the Gulf MSL Means Seal Level. Storm surge is a killer on the Gulf Side where the water depth may only be 30 feet deep, 30 miles out.

                  That storm only dumped 1 inch of rain so far. Been nice and then rainy. So what are your bug in and bug out flaws. Your health? Try carrying your BOB and gear on your back for a few miles hike and see what is really necessary. How much does your BOB weigh? I have 3 BOB bags depending on the situation.

                  • My bug out flaws are I have no bug out plan.

                    I will stay where I’m at. I have a gravity flow spring water system, wood and coal furnace and wood out back for fuel. I refurbished a wood and coal kitchen stove in case of no electric. I have a small grid tie and some battery backup to switch to if needed. Literally hundreds of jars of canned vegetables and meat and sealed bags of flour, sugar and pasta plus other things.

                    I’m too old to run and hide. I’ll stay here.

                    Besides, after ten years of impending doom, I’m doomed out and no longer worried about it.


      11. One thing we do expect and prepare for in our rural home are the urban dwellers or hordes coming to take our stuff. I’ve read other blogs where writers say they’ll just come out here and take what they want. Hope the don’t expect it to be easy.

      12. remember to play nice with those that poke holes in your plans…if we was all a bunch of cheerleaders on here, we would never IMPROVE those plans…..so they DO provide a service. it can be mighty hard sometimes, caint it?

        • There is nothing wrong in critiquing someone else’s Bug out plans. It shows your potential flaws and weaknesses, and lends you an opportunity to correct the problem before SHTF, and room to overcome your flaws before it becomes a crisis.

          Bottom line, we do the best we can with what we have. And will always be a work in progress to perfect your plan and the perfect BOL retreat homestead. Those prepared with an action plan, will fair way better, than those who think they are being picked on because their plan is a failure from the get go. If you can’t take criticism, you are dumb. This is a learning curve here, so get busy with your plan. I really dug into this problem when I discovered this site back in 2010 and after seeing the world fall apart in 2008 and on. It took a few years just to position my self to move out of the city and into the country. Plenty of challenges, and do it now while you still can. Once SHTF, you got what you got, and if you are smart you will already be at your functioning homestead in the country.

          Imagine all those dopes in these million dollar penthouses on the 60th floor in the city with a view, as your electricity is cut, your entire building is in a blackout, and you have fight hungry mobs looting and burning everything on the street then if you can find water, you have to climb back up 60 stories of stairs to haul your drinking water up to your apartment flat. What do you think the value of your Penthouse will be in a blackout? Then try selling your penthouse in a building that is on fire, because people start fires in the tall building to keep warm. Think People. It’s a No-brainer. And the controllers may block off the city limit road access points to contain the unprepared mobs from leaving the city. Death Trap!!

      13. Tommy Robinson was arrested ,with gag order ,for reporting on grooming gang , insisting a riot? Payback will be a bitch for the wonderful cops and government employees? And hopefully their entire extended families?

      14. Police trade in vests can be found for 50 $ ? Get one for everyone? Stopping a 22 is better than not?

      15. I am not picking on Selco, as he was caught in a nation wide war torn conflict. He probably did not know just how bad it was going to get in the beginning. Take a que from his experience and get out of the cities and potential areas of conflict while you still can, in relatively peaceful times.

        Places you do NOT want to live.
        * In the Big Cities with mass population. One hit and all chaos breaks loose.
        * Near any Government offices or buildings as they are potential Nuke targets to remove the current Government.
        * Near any Nuke Plants as they may go off line or over heat and your exposure to radiation increases.
        * Near any Military installations as they are all targets of enemy nukes. Including their flight paths.
        * Near any Military Industrial Complex WarWhore manufacturing plants. They are all on the enemy target list, guaranteed.
        * Near any National Borders with a 3rd world country. Like Mexico where hordes and spillover refugees cross to loot and also areas infected by drug gangs and illegal invaders committing rape and theft.
        * Near any place for potential flooding. That Dam up the river blows up or cracks, you can be caught in a flash flood with no where to go.
        * Tornado Ally. No explanation needed.
        * Not in Redoubt either, where the Yellowstone Volcano is about to blow. You may be buried in the ash.
        * Not up in the northern winter climates, where you depend on grid energy for heat and cooking. Grid fails for a few years you are in a death trap if not prepared with alternative energy to function.
        * I am sure there are more places to add to this list. Choose wisely like your life depends on it.

        • TSB, in all fairness, you don’t know me and I don’t know you. My next trip to the BOL is scheduled for July but that could change the way things are shaping up. That’s why I’m online every day to keep track of what’s going on. You’ve offered a lot of good prep advice over the years and I do give you a lot of credit for that. We agree on most things. I’ll still wish you the best regardless of any differences we’ve had in the past. It’s possible my next trip to the BOL could be my last. If the circumstances are just right, then the BOL WILL become my new home. I’ve been through some shit in years past that I won’t bring up at this time. I’m a survivor and will continue to do so. There’s only a few certain things I care about now. I’m too old for any BS. There’s always the chance I won’t make it all the way through. Whatever will happen will just happen. So be it.

          • The Deplorable Braveheart , “Whatever will happen will just happen. So be it.” That is the perfect mindset especially if you know you can kick ass and take names ! It removes all fear and makes it a challenge and maybe even fun at this point.

            It should be clear things are coming to a head and fast ! And there will be open season on liberals and control freaks and other criminals. That is where they fucked up big time and got arrogant. Their garbage thinking will cone to its natural end game and there will be no fee for a hunting license.

            • DowntoEarthThinking.com, I like your way of thinking. Especially, the no fee for a hunting license.

        • You better hope/pray Yellowstone volcano doesn’t blow. There will not be much of the US left to choose places to “bug out”. As for me, I moved to the Yellowstone area — small town, friendly people, easy to get to know your neighbors and rural and semi-rural areas to live in with beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife. Heaven.

      16. I mostly avoid alliances with tornados, but I do live in “Tornado Alley”, as it is sometimes called. You pay your money and you take your chances. Selco has given good advice, and he gives it here. If you’re thinking of bugging out to the places that are not cities or suburbs, you’d best have a well formulated plan, and experience (training!) including pre-placed stocks of survival food, water, etc. Some may find this article not helpful, but it is a serious discussion about a serious matter. And I should like to point out that when the SHTF, millions will clog and block the highways in their panic, and that is where a lot will die. So remember when bugging out sounds like the thing to do, wait and time your movement so as to not wind up a refugee. Timing is everything.

        • Over here most will be headed toward town and getting their gubbermint cheese,
          IF i got to go im going the other way

      17. The problem with rural Bug Out Locations for those that live in the cities is simply this: you have to be able to get to it.

        In any given true-life collapse, cities will become their own traps and you may not be able to extract yourself due to gridlock or the subsequent danger of movement after the first or second wave.

        By the time you make it to your precious ‘cabin in the woods’ you are likely to find it ransacked or already occupied by someone more desperate than you.

        As Selco points out, many of the folks that hunkered down in the stick already lived in the sticks. Like Hank Williams, Jr. said, a country boy will survive.

        Think you’re gonna bug out to a state park and camp till ‘the coast is clear’? Think again.

        Prepare. Shelter in place. Defend your fortress.

        Time will be your worst nemesis and best co-conspirator. Time and starvation will move people away from you. It will also mobilize more desperate and organized people. I would suggest that as properties are abandoned in your vicinity, you cannibalize anything useful and then burn it to the ground. New neighbors might not act neighborly. Leave no vacancies for squatters or looters.

      18. H’mmm, I wonder who the North Georgia Idiots cousin is?

      19. Deplorable Braveheart’s favorite on his daddy’s side!

        • I’m the one asking…

          “Who’s Pickin’ a banjo here?”

      20. Living in one house and having a bug-out location (bol) somewhere else doesn’t make sense. To really outfit a bug-out location for the long-term requires some serious investment. If you could hide the existence of the bol it would be okay but that is almost impossible to do. Once SHTF hits, you might find your bol already occupied when you decide to go there. You need to live in the bug-out location full-time to protect your investment against looters.

        Little update on Turkey’s leader, Recep Erdogan. He is ordering his army into Syria to hunt down the Kurdish fighters which the US supports. If the US interferes, his army is give the US an “ottoman slap”. He ordered one of his ships to collide with a Greek ship in the waters around islands that Turkey is in dispute with Greece over ownership. Finally, he interfered with Italian drilling in the gas fields owned by Cyprus. He is definitely making life interesting!

        • Brian, agreed that it is best to live in your bug-out locale f/t. Also best to have trustworthy like minded folk in your group…increase your chances of survival. However, what do you suggest if you are forced to abandon BOL..say, by a larger force that overtakes you? What will you do then? do you live on the fly in the country/mountains? Head to your nearest SMALL town to regroup? Suggestions are appreciated. Also suggestions on survival ‘live’ training classes. thanks from a newbie/finally prepping Wyomingite.

      21. I think the rail road tracks would be a viable way to travel. I see videos of folks who build a light cart powered by a small gas engine. they travel the abandoned RR tracks. I have one of those pep boys weed eater engine motorcycles. with a triangular extension to a third wheel it could traverse the RR track and still be viable off the track’s also. But remember in a true SHTF WROL we out in the rural setting will not welcome you with open arms.

      22. I live in a rural area with the lowest minority demographic in my state. I will attempt to stay here when it goes south, that said should it become necessary TEOWAWKI, I have a bug out location picked in the LBL State Park. It’s federal land but if it’s bad enough for me to go there it ain’t gonna matter. I don’t view this as a permanent solution however, no man is an an island, we will stay there long enough to ensure survival and after the smoke clears I will attempt to go back and rebuild. Weapons, ammo and food caches are are must it would seem to me. You don’t need em till you need em.

      23. Ok, this is my prospective. Until my retirement, my family and I lived in the county, away from city life. When I retired, we moved from the peoples republic of Southern Kalifornia to the mountains of Central Utah. I wouldn’t say we are truly rural, although the closest town (tiny), is 15 miles away. I hunt and fish, have a green house and can our excess meat and produce.

        We do worry about the city folks making a run to our area after a SHTF. If it’s anything like what I’ve read about the Great Depression, it don’t look good. The game disappeared, the fish disappeared. My property is fenced and cross fenced. Please don’t violate my property. It won’t end well.

        I have a hand pump attached to my well. Only pumps 3 GPM, but we won’t likely run out of water. It will even pressurize my pressure tank, so even showers and toilets will function. We have food storage, and if worse comes to worse, we could eat the horses, but that would be a huge fight with the wife and daughter. We buy our hay during the first and second cutting to last until next years crop. Don’t know what we’ll do if TSHF occurs in the Spring prior to having a years supply. The farmers I get my hay from have agreed to allow me to buy the feed with silver if the money supply goes to hell.

        What I’m saying is I believe we can survive if we don’t get swamped with the folks from the city. So please, city folks, prepare now for the worst. Don’t expect to invade the country and think you can take what you need. Oh yea, just as a heads up, I also have a backhoe.

      24. Well I plan to bug out in my rural home, but often wonder what to do with the piles of bodies that might pile up just outside my property line. Do I drag them further away and dig shallow graves, or do I just let them lay so others will see what happens to looters?

      25. A thought….

        If the mud begins leaking out of the urban areas post-SHTF, I hope rural and semi-rural folks will have the common sense to BAN TOGETHER to create formidable self-defense bodies. Be it on neighborhood or township levels, whatever…
        Early on, it may be groups and small bodies of interlopers of a couple dozen people or so invading the hinterlands. As time rolls on, THEY will organize into much larger groups of hundreds, perhaps thousands! They will do this out of necessity.
        The good news? Most city folks do NOT own formidable firearms. At least not in the beginning…. Their weapons on hand will be minimal in value compared to what suburban, rural and semi-rural folks own. However, that will change in time, as they over-run surrounding suburban areas and acquire the firearms and ammo they need.
        I understand the “Island unto himself” business model, and it is one I would find personally preferable. I simply question whether or not it’s PRACTICAL. If everybody is busy simply protecting their own little islands and pockets of existance, and NO LARGER ORGANIZED BODY of defense is formed to repel rural invasion on a larger scale, then the sheer numbers of the urban disaffected WILL eventually over-run us. That’s not conjecture, that’s fact….

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