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biggest aid to survival if shtf, is to MOVE with the weather  RSS feed

 
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there are places in the mountains, where moving  30 miles moves your temps 30F degrees. That temp difference can be very significant in how much food you can grow/forage, and how much effort you have to put out to control your bodyheat. All  3200 miles of the US has been crossed by a bicycle in 8 days. Google it.  Moving  500 miles south can change your temps 30F degrees, almost anyplace,  and  1000 miles can double the change. You can bicycle  700 miles in a week, all at night, with NVD goggles and passive IR scanning,  rather easily, on pavement. Even more easily, you can drift an inflatable raft down a creek, to a river, to Louisinana, from anywhere in the central US. it's slower, since the rivers move at  3-4 mph, typically, and for most of the country, they move sw or se, not straight south, as does the Mississippi. You can haul 100 lbs on a bike, and tow 50 lbs more in a trailer behind a bike. You might have to walk alongside of it, on steep grades or off road, but at least the wheels are carrying the weight, not your back.  You can use some small logs to lock the front wheel in aligmemt with the frame, making it a lot easier to walk alongside of it, with your rifle in spring clamps on the handlebars.  At least you can hop aboard and coast forthe downhill parts of your journey!   Use solid rubber tires, so as to avoid a lot of hassle and delay/worry. A 3 man inflatable will let you float the bike, you know, along with all the other stuff, food, etc. If you have a water filter, water and fish are never in short supply as you drift down stream. If shtf, few are going to notice you on a river at night and even fewer will want to waste time or ammo on you, if they lack a boat to go get your stuff. I once had some fool say that the tugboat's wash will swamp my raft. Well, if it's shtf, tugboats wont be running up and down the river, guys. To do so will mean getting shot-at. All that diesel fuel and grain will make them a very attractive target, worth swimming out to capture, worth biking along the shore to keep up with and shoot-at. Riots, storms, flooding, avalanche, mud-slide, fires rarely mean a damned thing to you if you bicycle 50 miles away (in the correct directions)  which takes just half a night.
 
pollinator
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I'm not sure the definition of survival is to spend your life running away. At some point, no matter how thrifty you are, that bike or raft has to stop and resupply. If the world becomes the hell-hole you hint at, there aren't going to be convenience stores along your route and anything you might think of foraging has probably already been foraged by the people who live in the area you are passing through. People who opt to survive in place may be the only ones with food and you can bet your bottom dollar they will see you coming if you think your best option is to steal your way along to wherever you're going. So what IS your plan for resupply?
 
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I think most see roving/running as a last ditch effort when all else is lost.

 
bill Russell
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Deb Stephens wrote:I'm not sure the definition of survival is to spend your life running away. At some point, no matter how thrifty you are, that bike or raft has to stop and resupply. If the world becomes the hell-hole you hint at, there aren't going to be convenience stores along your route and anything you might think of foraging has probably already been foraged by the people who live in the area you are passing through. People who opt to survive in place may be the only ones with food and you can bet your bottom dollar they will see you coming if you think your best option is to steal your way along to wherever you're going. So what IS your plan for resupply?

 the rivers are highly likely to always have fish, if you have netting.  100 lbs of the right kind of food will get you thru 100 days of rafting, if it's not too cold,  So many people are going to be dead, so quickly, that there's going to be plenty of stuff to pick up, from abandoned vehicles/buildings, and from dead bodies,  There will be lots  of space in which to garden. Have some non-hyrid seeds and you'll be ok. People will be a very high risk to kill you, either directly, with poison, explosives, other types of boobytraps, or by contagious diseases. Avoid them for as long as possible.  Then join a proven-viable group, carefully, from a distance, using dead drops and message flags to establish your value (and theirs) before risking actual person to person contact. Nobody's at all likely to see you when you travel at night.  Everyone has eyeballs, but not even 1% have night visions and most wont have solar chargers. Batteries die, especially in cold weather.
 
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My own opinion is that foraging enough calories to survive is a myth unless you are foraging a farmer's potato field or the nearest Wal-Mart super store.  As far as growing,  it's harder to do while moving.  The simpler answer to moving South with the weather is to just stay South where the growing session is longer, or can/ freeze/ store enough to get through the winter if you live in a colder climate.

I would also like to see a quick show of hands of people that have night vision goggles or think they are a better investment than,  say, a new generator or chainsaw.
 
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The Austrian who holds that record of just under 8 days is a phenominal athelete. Definitely not an average human.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Trace Oswald wrote:
I would also like to see a quick show of hands of people that have night vision goggles or think they are a better investment than,  say, a new generator or chainsaw.



In hindsight I would buy the goggles before the generator (I hate generators, too finicky and I am not good with small engines). Night vision is definitely near the top of my wish list.
 
pollinator
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Why wait until SHTF to move south.
Have a 'bug-out' food forest down south, ready for you.
Some people might call it a summer cabin.
You can have honey+fish already setup.
Vegetables, Herbs and Tubers patch.
Possible a fallen nut patch too.
Medlar, Aronia, Jujube, Persimmon and a few other fruits might still be on the trees even in the dead of winter.

But yes a well packed bike with sugar+oil+multivitamin+water purifier to a bug out location in 7+ days makes alot of sense.
Who has a bug out location secured already?

Are we talking California Fires SHTF where we can show up in Oregon and get some help. Or is it continent wide and we am heading south to pillage and kill, what about the Southern Resistance to Invaders who didn't buy some land to setup a summer cabin/food forest.
 
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I could walk to the nearby river in 5 or 10 minutes. That ultimately connects to the Mississippi River. Then float to New Orleans. In theory. We've discussed it many times. It would be an excellent adventure in normal times. BUT that would be a very poor choice for me if SHTF. There are many thousands of people who live along those rivers now plus there would be many more desperate refugees. River rats watch their rivers very closely. IF you managed to survive all that you ultimately end up in New Orleans with a couple million more .... oh, let's just go there again ... desperate zombies. Not a good plan for me.

 
Robert Ray
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I guess with my mindset of building resilience where I am that bugging out would probably only occur if there was a local disaster. Relatively rural,  know my neighbors, some would be allowed inside the fence and others met at the fence. Could I bug out, sure but it would have to be extreme to do that. Perhaps a more local fall back site is more practical.
 
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Well, before everyone starts heading south let me say that just because the growing season is longer doesn't mean it's any easier to live here
I know a lot of folks still think the Ozarks are under populated and you can go hide out there...it just isn't so.  People who hunt and forage here already know every square inch of land, both public and private.  Even many of the caves are well known and any decent ones are already under lock and key.

Many folks in the country here (and farther south I suspect) already have guns, dogs and at least some knowledge in the family of living off the land.

 
Trace Oswald
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Judith Browning wrote:

Many folks in the country here (and farther south I suspect) already have guns, dogs and at least some knowledge in the family of living off the land.



Judith,  it sounds like the South and the Midwest have some things in common.
 
pollinator
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Trace Oswald wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:

Many folks in the country here (and farther south I suspect) already have guns, dogs and at least some knowledge in the family of living off the land.



Judith,  it sounds like the South and the Midwest have some things in common.




Add the Northeast to that, along with the Southwest, Northwest and probably just plain west I am sure.

I live in a very rural part of Maine, and behind my house is 7000 acres of private woodland. I do not own all of it, but people come here and think we don't keep an eye on it. Most of the time it is to illegally hunt or grow pot. They are in for a rude awakening, and in very short order. I know every square foot of my land, and hike it quite often. If I hear a skidder, chainsaw, ATV or whatnot in an odd spot, I will investigate. So do my neighbors and it is not uncommon to get a call telling me what is going on. I do likewise for them.

My Forester found this out when she was doing the Forestry Plan for my woodlot. A hunter challenged her pretty fast, knowing only x amount of people have permission to be on my land. I got to her defense before she was tarred and feathered, but it is a pretty good network of neighborhood watch here.

Oh; I forgot about the pot part. Obviously we do not call the police about that. A skidder makes quick work of tilling that under.
 
Robert Ray
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Seriously unless it is a local disaster similar to the Paradise fire, hurricane, volcano if SHTF here it is everywhere. Do you leave what you know and have some infrastructure/support or do you go into an unknown?
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Travis Johnson wrote:
My Forester found this out when she was doing the Forestry Plan for my woodlot. A hunter challenged her pretty fast, knowing only x amount of people have permission to be on my land. I got to her defense before she was tarred and feathered, but it is a pretty good network of neighborhood watch here.



Yeah hunters that lease or own tracks of land do NOT want to share, and just like where you are around here they are nosy and know who belongs where, and which track is leased out and by whom etc...

The woods around here are very quiet and unoccupied, but a while back my coonhound got out and was hollering in the track of land next door. I walked down the road with a leash and BAM out of nowhere a car pulls over and one of the hunters that leases that track asked "Did one of your dawgs get out?". He knew who I was (the crazy single lady that lives with a pack of dogs) and he was friendly, but hell yeah they watch what is going on and they do not tolerate squatters/poachers/trespassers. FYI it wasn't deer season (if it had been I would have been screaming my head off calling that dog so everyone within a 1 mile radius knew one was out).
 
Deb Stephens
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Judith Browning wrote:Well, before everyone starts heading south let me say that just because the growing season is longer doesn't mean it's any easier to live here
I know a lot of folks still think the Ozarks are under populated and you can go hide out there...it just isn't so.  People who hunt and forage here already know every square inch of land, both public and private.  Even many of the caves are well known and any decent ones are already under lock and key.

Many folks in the country here (and farther south I suspect) already have guns, dogs and at least some knowledge in the family of living off the land.



As a fellow Ozarkian, I can attest to all this. Gardening in our hot, humid climate (where rocks grow quite well but a lot of other things just give up and start wilting away somewhere around mid-July) is not as easy as you think. As for knowing the land -- I certainly know every tree, flower and rock on my land and for several miles in every direction. I can walk through the woods and instantly tell when someone has been there by noticing an overturned rock or a tree branch that has been moved off a familiar path, etc. Anyone expecting to "forage" at our expense will find us wide awake -- as well as our 12 dogs.
 
Travis Johnson
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Oh yeah, I forgot about the dog.

We told our daughters if you ever get into trouble and we are not around, do whatever you have too, to get in the fence or in the barn. Our dog looks nice white and fluffy, but don't let that fool you; she has two fox, and two coyote notches on her collar. I could not imagine what she would do if our daughters were legitimately threatened.

Yes, someone could shoot her, but she would die defending her sheep/family.


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Travis Johnson
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The Amish did not want to move this far north because our growing season is so short here. But they moved anyway, but got delayed on the sale of land and did not arrive until late. But we had a nice stretch of warm weather that October so they got a tractor to get enough hay to survive the winter.

As they were going down a hill, the transmission let go, the tractor, baler and wagon went down the hill, through a rock wall, out into a swamp, hit a tree and literally broke in half. The Amish went back to their houses, got on their Sunday best, went as Elders to the man who loaned out the tractor to them and said, "As we speak, we are getting teams of horses together to get that tractor out of the swamp, and just as soon as parts arrive, we will fix that tractor."

The farmer laughed and said, "This is Maine, grab my other tractor and finish haying. You have all winter to repair the tractor."

The Amish later told me they knew with neighbors like that, that they had moved to the right area.

So no need to run South, we all work together here to get by. In fact, in times of National Disaster we do pretty good until FEMA comes in and people start fighting over who is getting more money. I am not making that up. We have to learn in America that throwing money at a problem does not always work.
 
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I like these critical thinking 'what if' exercises.

700 miles in a 7 day week is approximately 160km a day, EVERY DAY.

We once did a lot of long distance cycle-touring carrying typical gear e.g. Panniers, clothing, camping and bike maintenance gear, and what food we could - only enough for a couple of days, and mostly staying overnight in a variety of places: camping grounds, hotels/motels, caravan parks, etc.

The maximum single days ride was about 140km (87 miles) depending on terrain and weather. At the end of that distance, a 'typical' fit person would be exhausted and need at least 12 hours to recover. We'd normally follow up with shorter days ride for the next few days - 120km, 110km, whatever got us to a town or chosen goal.

Most of that riding was on sealed roads, maybe with a few dirt ones but not many. And on modern pneumatic tyres.

It would be virtually impossible to do 160km consistently for a straight 7 days without being a practiced athlete.

Carrying enough food and/or foraging for it, then having the wherewithal to cook it and the correct foodstuffs to supply adequate kilojoules, and, then also being able to defend oneself if it came to that, is nonsense.

Add personal protection devices (USA = assault rifle), ammunition, and whatever other 'necessities' people carry and I suggest a person would be better off with a large 4WD.

In a SHTF scenario, leaving a run to the last minute, like several million other people, would be lethal. As others have said, if people are that concerned about a zombie apocalypse, find a nice isolated COMMUNITY, in a warm climate, and grow a Permie garden NOW.

In regards to NVG, chainsaws, etc, they all run on either batteries or fuel - I'd not consider them the primary tools in a SHTF situation, but they'd certainly provide a nice 'edge' as an emergency backup. (A chainsaw makes a shitload of noise, not something I'd want to do either!)

Additionally, based on experiences I had in Papua New Guinea, stay away from major rivers - polluted water and attracts people. Most if not all villages are built beside or access to smaller tributaries = clean water, easier to defend, less obvious, better chance to catch fish and other prey.

 
Robert Ray
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Realistically, any touring cyclist that can do consecutive "Centuries" (100 miles) with a loaded bike is in pretty good shape. As I alluded to earlier the resilience of permaculture would be a reason that I would not bug out. It is not just the tremendous amount of work on my property that would help me carry on in a shtf situation. The circle of people that know what I can do and my knowing what they can do and we share,trade, barter those abilities. Permaculture isn't just about the garden, the culture part also includes those we live near. It would be extremely difficult for one to be a lone survivor in a shtf scenario. Maybe they have a SimSurvival game but if this list were choices made it would be a short lived game.
 
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The problem I see with most of the SHTF scenarios is that historically it isn't what happens in reality. Just take a look at the events of the past hundred years .....severe famine, wars, genocides, etc. A percentage of the affected population stays hunkered down and survives as best it can. Most actually survive, though some starve or get caught up in genocide raids. Another percentage runs away. The percentage that runs away either emigrates to another country or location ( if they have enough cash money in hand), or they end up at a border refuge camp. I haven't heard about populations running to the mountains or into the countryside, setting up new housing, or successfully foraging for years. Or becoming successful nomads. There are numerous accounts of the people running away of getting kidnapped (forced into slavery of one sort or another), being killed by landowners (often for stealing food and foraging), of dying of disease or starvation. A lot of the runaways don't make it to border refuge camps. Children and elderly are often abandoned along the trek, thus die or get killed by locals.

If your country collapses, survival may depend more upon having enough hard cash to buy your way into a safer zone.
 
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Thank you Bill for starting an interesting discussion!

I think there are some interesting ideas in your post.

Other posters have already pointed out the pitfalls, so no need for me to say about those.

Your idea would probably be a very good starting point eg. for someone who's naturally a nomad and a hunter & fisherman. Someone who's not interested in staying in one place and homesteading. Someone who's fit, quick to adapt, knows how to read nature & the landscape.

Or perhaps for someone, who's a bit of a MacGyver type. I love MacGyver
 
Nina Jay
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Deb Stephens wrote: At some point, no matter how thrifty you are, that bike or raft has to stop and resupply. If the world becomes the hell-hole you hint at, there aren't going to be convenience stores along your route and anything you might think of foraging has probably already been foraged by the people who live in the area you are passing through. People who opt to survive in place may be the only ones with food and you can bet your bottom dollar they will see you coming if you think your best option is to steal your way along to wherever you're going. So what IS your plan for resupply?



I can think of two ways a person planning this kind of survival strategy could plan to resupply: one is by hunting and fishing and foraging and the other is by helping local people in exchange for some supplies. If this person is a bit of a Mac Gyver type, he could think of many ways to help the more settled down people.

I would very much welcome someone who could fix our tractor for example. I'd be glad to give some potatoes and carrots and garlic in exchange.

That's actually a real life example. One summer a nice young couple from Switzerland parked their old minivan on the outer border of our land. They didn't know it was our land, they were just touring around Northern Europe and stopped anywhere that didn't look like it belonged to anyone. I went there to say hello, invited them for a breakfast and it turned out the guy was interested in old machines and knew how to repair them, so he fixed our tractor
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Su Ba wrote: I haven't heard about populations running to the mountains or into the countryside, setting up new housing, or successfully foraging for years. Or becoming successful nomads. There are numerous accounts of the people running away of getting kidnapped (forced into slavery of one sort or another), being killed by landowners (often for stealing food and foraging), of dying of disease or starvation. A lot of the runaways don't make it to border refuge camps.  



Agree, carving a new home/community out of the wilderness is darn hard even in the best of locations under the best of circumstances.

With billions of humans on the planet virtually ALL of those "great locations" are now inhabited and the humans that live there will NOT be welcoming strangers/refugees when their own survival is at risk.

If some guy on a bike wanted to hang out for a while, or otherwise benefit from the communities land/resources they had best have some very good skills or resources to trade for that privilege.
 
Deb Stephens
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Nina Jay wrote:

Deb Stephens wrote: At some point, no matter how thrifty you are, that bike or raft has to stop and resupply. If the world becomes the hell-hole you hint at, there aren't going to be convenience stores along your route and anything you might think of foraging has probably already been foraged by the people who live in the area you are passing through. People who opt to survive in place may be the only ones with food and you can bet your bottom dollar they will see you coming if you think your best option is to steal your way along to wherever you're going. So what IS your plan for resupply?



I can think of two ways a person planning this kind of survival strategy could plan to resupply: one is by hunting and fishing and foraging and the other is by helping local people in exchange for some supplies. If this person is a bit of a Mac Gyver type, he could think of many ways to help the more settled down people.

I would very much welcome someone who could fix our tractor for example. I'd be glad to give some potatoes and carrots and garlic in exchange.

That's actually a real life example. One summer a nice young couple from Switzerland parked their old minivan on the outer border of our land. They didn't know it was our land, they were just touring around Northern Europe and stopped anywhere that didn't look like it belonged to anyone. I went there to say hello, invited them for a breakfast and it turned out the guy was interested in old machines and knew how to repair them, so he fixed our tractor



In an ideal world this sort of itinerant farm worker scenario would be a good one to adopt if the nomad in question had skills and time on his/her hands AND the farmers were amenable to the idea of work/supply exchange. The problem is that it is not an ideal world and the scenario put forward by the OP sounds more like a Mad Max scenario -- so VERY FAR from an ideal world. Even if the biker/rafter has the best of intentions and fully expects to pay (in money or work) for the food and supplies s/he needs, how is the farmer going to know that when s/he sees a stranger approaching the door? What would keep said farmer from merely blowing the well-intentioned biker's head off? In a world where it's everyone for himself and devil take the hindmost, there probably aren't going to be a lot of amiable negotiations over the garden fence. Besides ... I thought the OP's idea was to get down south FAST. If you stop to work, that is a delay.
 
Robert Ray
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Biking with loaded bicycle or rafting are not rapid transportation. Dual sport motorcycle would be a more feasible form of transport.
 
Mike Barkley
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Having a very hard time imagining any stranger on a bicycle getting anywhere near our post apocalyptic hillbilly community
 
S Bengi
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I think the biggest help would to become a (volunteer) emergency medical government agent.
This way other government agents would feed you and put you to work.
You could easily go thru government road blockage
The local population would see you as a person with a valuable skill.
The local/southern population would see you as a loving/caring/healing person vs a criminal killer
It is possible that you could even quarantine some part of a 'forest' due to fake health risk.

Finally you can then drive until you run out of gas, then bike until, people beat you up and take it away, then finally walk and hope your medical uniform helps.
 
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bill Russell wrote: the rivers are highly likely to always have fish, if you have netting.  



Don't bet on it!

Rio Doce Disaster
 
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Deb Stephens wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:Well, before everyone starts heading south let me say that just because the growing season is longer doesn't mean it's any easier to live here
I know a lot of folks still think the Ozarks are under populated and you can go hide out there...it just isn't so.  People who hunt and forage here already know every square inch of land, both public and private.  Even many of the caves are well known and any decent ones are already under lock and key.

Many folks in the country here (and farther south I suspect) already have guns, dogs and at least some knowledge in the family of living off the land.



As a fellow Ozarkian, I can attest to all this. Gardening in our hot, humid climate (where rocks grow quite well but a lot of other things just give up and start wilting away somewhere around mid-July) is not as easy as you think. As for knowing the land -- I certainly know every tree, flower and rock on my land and for several miles in every direction. I can walk through the woods and instantly tell when someone has been there by noticing an overturned rock or a tree branch that has been moved off a familiar path, etc. Anyone expecting to "forage" at our expense will find us wide awake -- as well as our 12 dogs.



thing is...i think...most of us rural arkies have been doin this our entire lives...while so many have been busy living off of the fat of the land...we don't take kindly, at least i dont, to others comin down to take what we have worked so hard for...i would be very cautious there...cause instead of wearing p**** hats and marching and shouting and being well...what i see people on tv being...all of my neighbors, friends, and family, as well as myself...are out working our butts off to eak out a living....and we take great pride in that--wouldn't trade it...judith and deb nailed it for me an mine...we are quite prepared for when it gets to be too much...i wouldn't depend too much on being a welcomed stranger in this part of the country if shtf...just sayin
 
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If tshtf, there will be roving bands of refugees and worse.

Treating fellow humans as zombies (dehumanization) turns you/us into monsters.

I don't particularly want to live in a world comprised of zombies and monsters. So I grow stuff, and plant stuff.

Lets get a head start by going Johnny appleseed in our local woods, encouraging edibles with high calorie count. Chop and drop around existing edibles so they can outcompete. Urigate old nut trees near you so they can thrive.

For now at least we have pleasant choices, let's avail ourselves of them so the future might be less dystopian than feared.
 
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My dad grew up on a farm in Oklahoma during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. There was certainly some lawlessness (it was the era of celebrated bank robbers). There were no zombies and monsters, and there were itinerant homeless workers, some of whom starved to death. Society went through extreme upheaval, but the rule of law did not entirely break down into a Mad Max scenario.

My grandfather and the boys had to camp out in the pecan orchard with guns to protect the harvest. People would show up in the middle of the night with guns and trucks, trying to steal the harvest, not to steal a meal, not because they were hungry, but to steal the crop to sell. There were no gun battles, but there could have been. When times are hard, people WILL protect their livelihood from thieves and robbers and those who want an easy dollar.

My grandparents were able to hire labor sometimes, to help bring in a high labor but high value crop. But these were low paying jobs (pennies per hour) that lasted a very short time, and they hired LOCALS whom they knew. It would be extraordinary for someone who becomes an itinerant worker to thrive. Certainly the “Okies” who lost their farms and headed to California in hopes of finding farm work did not fare well.

The better option is to prepare NOW so that one does not become a displaced homeless itinerant worker, because that is, frankly, the most vulnerable position to be in during a major crisis.

 
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You do realize you have posted this on a forum of people who 80% + know how to build a rocket mass heater in their sleep right?


With this and a tee pee, one is pretty much so warm if they had to be.

( I moved from Indiana to Florida, I don't regret it :-) )
 
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Just my 2 cents.  I suspect if things really got bad that those who know how to create and sustain community will do the best and that those that go it alone will struggle badly.  People who think a gun will protect them out by themselves may likely find themselves a target so that someone can take that gun.  If modern life is dramatically interrupted then people will be needed to replace fossil fuels with hands/backs.  I guess, as with all things, that it depends on the specifics of the situation, but our fellow human beings are an amazing resource and working as a diverse tribe would bring great support and protection.  That seems to be what has always been successful for our species.  I'd look for opportunities to extend my "family".  In the end we all die, how you treat others (and often times therefore how they treat you) is all that matters during the time you have, be it good times or bad.  
 
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OK I am late to this party, but I am going to go back and address the OP's premise.

This is my thinking on this.

1st there are places already nice and comfortably warm where it is arguable that they are already in SHTF (South America or Middle East for examples), yet the warmth is not helping them really. So if warmth is not the answer what is? I don't think it really is one specific thing for SHTF, but top on my list would be community and knowledge/skills. Community because division of labor, moral/companionship, someone to guard your back, and so much more. Knowledge and skills because a jack of all trades never knows enough, there is just too much stuff that needs specialized skills and knowledge. Having others to share knowledge and skills rather than trying to learn it all yourself makes sure that the things you miss learning don't end up killing you.

2nd moving in SHTF would always mean leaving behind tools and resources you have or know exactly where to get. Limiting the available supply of tools and resources for uncertain supply is a huge gamble. I gave up building Bug Out Bags "BOBs" in favor of I'm Never Coming Home "INCH" packs due to being unable to get everything I would need to survive indefinitely down to the low pack weight suggested for BOBs. BOBs are really set up as a 72 hr emergency kit to get you to a bug out location where you have more supplies. But if I bug out (become nomadic) I need everything I can pack to survive. This means a lot of heavy tools, hunting/defense weapons, clothes for all weather, cookware, bedding etc... Heck just bedding and cookware tends to pass the BOB recommended weights. How do you move such weight, find some sort of assistance. I have advocated in pepper circles for a long time bug out bikes as well as carts. Don't get stuck with too little to survive but also don't break your back. However even with an INCH pack and using bikes or carts you still have to loose a lot of weight and bulk to be able to be mobile. You have to weigh each item for it's usefulness and not carry much for back ups because it all just adds up too fast and you find yourself having to leave a lot behind. And of course for a bug out you need to have a plan of where to go. Not just a general direction, but a specific location where you know there is safety resources etc... Like a cabin your grandfather owns, or a friends farm, maybe a campsite you have been visiting for years and prepared with supplies. But bugging out with no clear location to get to is just becoming a refugee. (BTW I also advocate mule and pack goats. A good string of mules and goats I would consider the ultimate bug out vehicle. They can get you places no other vehicle can, give companionship as well as warning, self fueling, and can be used as last resort food source.)

3rd leaving a familiar area for one you don't know sets you up to no longer know what is edible. While game is pretty universal, plants quickly change from region to region. While moving to "greener pastures" might sound good, how much do you actually know about those lands and what might sustain you there? Or what might harm you?

4th being mobile puts you at a sever tactical disadvantage. Traveling will increase the odds of running into something/one hostile. It could be people, it could be feral dogs, it could be an escaped tiger. In SHTF most everything is going to see you as competition for resources. By traveling you are invading someone/things else's territory.

5th If SHTF consider what that really means and think about all the toxic gick humans create. A lot of chemicals typically need to be maintained. But if SHTF a lot of places that need constant cold or heat or pressure etc... would be left unattended. This means large areas would be extremely hazardous to go through. Traveling into an area you don't know the potential toxic hazards is not really a good idea. Seriously there is a lot of toxic stuff out there that even people living near them don't know about. It is one of the big things I think a lot of preppers forget to think about. The factories and industrial plants that use and create this stuff are all over, and without constant monitoring and intervention these things will get out and be harmful.
 
Deb Stephens
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Devin Lavign wrote:
5th If SHTF consider what that really means and think about all the toxic gick humans create. A lot of chemicals typically need to be maintained. But if SHTF a lot of places that need constant cold or heat or pressure etc... would be left unattended. This means large areas would be extremely hazardous to go through. Traveling into an area you don't know the potential toxic hazards is not really a good idea. Seriously there is a lot of toxic stuff out there that even people living near them don't know about. It is one of the big things I think a lot of preppers forget to think about. The factories and industrial plants that use and create this stuff are all over, and without constant monitoring and intervention these things will get out and be harmful.



I agree with most of this, but one thing that stands out for me is the 5th point above. I have long thought about the potential for nuclear reactor meltdowns when there is no one left to monitor those systems. (It is my main reason for being against nuclear power plants as cheap energy sources.) We don't need an all-out nuclear war to suffer from the effects of nuclear radiation. When these plants go -- and they will eventually when things fall apart -- we are in for some REALLY tough times.

Along with that threat is the less dangerous, but no less urgent problem of a deteriorating infrastructure for those folks not lucky (or providential) enough to live in a rural setting where well-water and composting toilets can alleviate some of the problems city dwellers will have when sewer and water systems fail. Losing the electric grid is not a big deal unless you are on some kind of life-support apparatus because we can always use candles or lanterns for light (or just go to bed when it gets dark as our ancestors did) and most of us really can do without the appliances we think we need, but water availability is critical.

I am particularly concerned about the millions of people who live in high-rise apartments who will be coming out to find those resources they no longer have at their fingertips. These are people WITH homes who will have to leave them because they are no longer functional spaces. Think of the thousands of people living in each and every sky-scraper in each and every city across this country. Many will die in place because they will be too frightened and unprepared for the struggle outside their doors and simply stay where they feel safe. Others will be ruthlessly "culled" outside their apartments before they can go further or go back. But ... a lot of them will survive and will soon move out into the countryside in search of resources that will quickly disappear from store shelves after the crowds have moved through. THOSE are going to be the invading hordes of looters and desperate, thirsty and hungry people those of us in rural areas will have to be on the lookout for.

I also do not discount the possibility of running into that tiger Devin mentions. Zoos and research facilities will have a lot of hungry animals not being cared for. Someone is going to open those cages one day and let them out. By many people, it would be considered an act of kindness to release them so they don't die of starvation or thirst (I will probably be one of those people thinking about doing just that), however, I am aware that there are problems associated with wholesale release and in many cases it would be kinder to simply euthanize them humanely. Of course, we can't dismiss the idea that there will also be people looking at them as resources for feeding their families, as well. Either way, some animals are going to get out and will be roaming the streets and parks of suburban neighborhoods, so yeah, you may find yourself face-to-face with a tiger some day.

It isn't a pretty picture and I hope it never comes to this sort of scenario, but knowing it could happen someday definitely gives me reason enough to devote time to devising ways to deal with it. I have my own plan that seems reasonable (as I am sure most of you do) but nothing is fail-safe. I work on improving things every day and spend a lot of time hoping they will never be needed. That may be all we can do if we don't find a way to come together and head off the potential disasters looming over this planet.

 
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For us,  the SHTF in 1652. It was hairy for a while, slavery, genocide, colonialism and so on, but we are here still, surviving with somewhat of our old values left intact. I am happy to share what we have learned about surviving system change. For what its worth I think the coming collapse is likely to be a slow one rather than one drastic event, but there is no saying if you live near a toxic factory or a nuclear power station that disaster cannot come suddenly.
To my mind, the most important thing is community as a key factor in improving survival chances.  Some of us went north to escape slavery, there meeting others who had moved inland and south from the slave raiding. Eventually colonialism caught up with them too but they had an extra couple of centuries to preserve the old traditions and knowledges. They moved in community. In Africa we are so poor, we did not even own our bodies at one stage. Getting out of that trap was hard because still to this day all our trading routes are directed to the former colonial powers and trading locally is the most frustrating and expensive thing. We manage because every time the system is not there to do something for us we turn to our networks. For instance, one third of African women do not even have bank accounts.   They buy and sell, lend and borrow through kinships and community networks.  Likely, it is the rural uneducated woman  farmer who will survive better than the highly urbanized elites. She doesn''t have much to lose, and she has spent generations making a way out of no way.

Part of the reason why community works is because travelling alone you cannot provide for the eventuality that you might get hurt. A small group is safer because you can watch out for each other.  So start taking that bike trip or boat ride once a year. There is nothing like the long road to figure out who you can trust. Research your most likely escape route and then  experience it in practice. That is the only way to properly assess its dangers. Figure out your bolt hole well in advance and in fact set up a series of minor bolt holes along the way. You do this by visiting regularly, so that your first appearance is not as the stranger in need but the friend who brings a strong back and useful skills. These can never go wrong. Invest what assets you can spare into your bolthole(s) so that when you are in need it shall come back to you. That is how we get by.

 
Robert Ray
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I'll see if I can't find the you tube video, a prime example of Devin's 5th. A you tube poster posted a video about camping in plain sight while passing through our little town. He was enamored by the lush field just yards from the highway just outside of the city proper. The field is our sewage treatment spray field and during applications the odor....well is kinda stinky. So there is an agronomic formula that governs the applications for max uptake of nitrates. Had he been there during or shortly after an application from the pivots he probably wouldn't have selected that site but he had no idea. He wasn't local just a traveler passing through, what you don't know just might end up resulting in a shitty nights sleep.
 
Myrth Gardener
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Being a refugee is a last choice.

Being a homeless itinerant farm worker is a last choice.

On other sites that focus on survival issues, people often come along saying they will go to Walmart, or they will live off the land, if TSHTF. Such ideas ultimately rely on stealing or poaching (or both) to work. That’s why I noted that even during the deepest economic and natural disaster joint crisis of the last century, lawlessness was not the rule.

Upon whose land would the nomad live off? Mine? Not hardly! I seek community with those I know. I give charity where I am able. But like my forebears, I will defend my property from those who would try to take it from me. I think that’s a pretty common rural attitude. So the nomad won’t find easy pickings finding privately owned land to work.

Government land? What about poaching laws?

I think the story of Chris McCandless is instructive. He was young and naive, believing he could “live off the land” in Alaska. He violated many poaching laws and wasted much meat before he died. True, that wasn’t Arkansas. It wasn’t private land. But feeding oneself off the land isn’t necessarily easy, even when there’s plenty of game on government land in an area where the law is not immediately enforced. Because ultimately what killed him was eating the wrong thing — he didn’t know the area well enough. And the nomadic refugee isn’t likely to know the new area’s plants either.
 
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