Consider this a “coaching” segment and some advice on how to follow a Thomas Hardy “Far from the Madding Crowd” mindset. Look at the world situation right now. North Korea is rattling the saber as the U.S. naval armada sails toward the area. We just gave Syria a foretaste of what is to come with the Tomahawk strike. Relations with Russia just hit a low point, and the President is not backing down on Syria and North Korea. Chances are good that we’ll be involved in a war very shortly. The possibility also exists that it could become a world war.
What does that mean to you, the Reader? It means that you’re going to have to assess yourself and correctly determine whether you’re prepared for the times to come.
Are You Appropriately Planning Your Preparations?
Part of that is to think outside of the box, to think differently in terms of planning and preparation. Most everyone has the same type of mindset: “I’m going to acquire all kinds of supplies, practice hard, and when the time comes, I’ll be as ready as I can be.”
Did you ever stop and consider that everyone else has the same idea, to one degree or another? Most people want to be “spoon-fed” everything, and the preparation is of the mindset that everything will be in place when disaster hits. Most do not “war game” the situation realistically. Everyone will have a rallying point of the closest park to hide. The problem: everyone is thinking of that. Everyone will take to the roads (Katrina was proof of that) if there’s advance warning.
The Art of Doing the Opposite of the Majority
In preparedness, you must “take the road less traveled by,” to paraphrase Frost. When the IHM (Incredible Human Mob) is running in one direction, the odds are good that you should not be in their midst. The art of doing the opposite of the majority is one of the things that will keep you alive and intact. The mob all runs to an area where there are limited supplies, such as food and water. What do you think will happen next? A singing of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be and American” with Bic lighters aflame? No, they’ll rip one another to shreds for the last bottles of water.
So, how do we compress thinking and acting differently from the majority into one short article? In reality, we can’t. What we can do here, however, are consider some possibilities. Perhaps you and/or your family can sit down and brainstorm some other options for yourselves. Let’s take it from a SHTF-scenario, shall we?
- Safe House: Occupied or Unoccupied – This will involve a retreat where you either can meet up with someone you trust (occupied) or go there with your family (unoccupied) and set up camp. English Property Law does not necessarily apply. Do you know of an abandoned barn or shed in a remote location? Do you know of an abandoned cabin or a partially-ruined building somewhere? If so, it might be good to preposition some supplies or even a cache there. If you have someone who you can meet up with…well, you can assure a place for yourself to flee to, and promise that person more…and a share in what you bring. That will be for you to gauge as to whether or not to trust someone this much, as anyone can go bad in an instant.
- Move when they are stationary; Be stationary when they’re on the move: this will be a shock to your circadian rhythm. This step is necessary, however, to cut down on the “new friends” you may not want to “meet” along the way. You and your family need to sleep in a covered and/or concealed location and post a guard…in shifts. When it’s night, that’s the time to move and forage for food or supplies.
- Attractive to you? Attractive to them, too: Do you see a nice lake with a stream feeding into it in front of you? Maybe a nice waterfall dropping into it? A nice cleared area with a bunch of rocks and dead timber strewed about? If it’s pleasing to your eye, it’ll be pleasing to another person’s eyes as well. “Attractive” and “High Traffic” areas are almost synonymous. Avoid what looks perfect, or you’ll bed down and have “guests” when (and if) you wake up.
- What you need, they need: This is the reason for a change in time of activity. Did you find food? Others will need it, and others will come. You must bank on that. Just because you’re “paranoid” does not mean that the world is not out to get you…or your supplies. If you find a food supply and a water supply, you’ll have to either hide it in some way, share it, or defend it. If you pick “option 2,” that doesn’t mean your altruistic qualities are held by those you share with.
- Path of Least Resistance: A happy trail right into the woods. The part of the mountain without the boulders and stickers all over it to climb. The open field to cross, as opposed to the woods filled with stickers and thorns. Don’t you take that path, as others will take it also.
Most will not be thinking outside of the box. Most will see you and yours in a grid down/SHTF situation as their opportunity. They will see your belongings as theirs. For the greatest example of this, see the movie “The Time of the Wolf.” The first five minutes of the movie tells it all…what happens to the family that packed it all up in a disaster (unspecified) and went to their retreat…that scenario is the “real deal.” The movie is in French with English subtitles…adding to the horror of the situation.
The bottom line: you can’t expect to survive the disaster…and the mob that makes it through the “first gate” after the initial pandemonium…unless you think and do things differently from them. Make no mistake about it: the time to prep is far from over. You cannot trust your future and the welfare of your family in the hands of those who can enmesh us into a world war, and then…on your taxpayer dime…be whisked away to a mountain fortress replete with food, supplies, and an army to defend them. You only have your wits and the guts to use them. Stay in that good fight by thinking outside of the box. JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
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