Automotive Preps

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If the S hits the F, will you look like ZZ Top a month afterward? Assuming you don’t want to you won’t have to – if you stocked up on razor blades along with your other preps.prep lead

I was thinking about stuff like this the other day. The small stuff that we often take for granted – but which will be taken away from us if the S does hit the F. Stuff like being able to shave. So, I decided to add razor blades – especially the cheap disposable type, which you can buy in bulk quantities at very low cost – and also shaving cream – to my stock-up list. I now have enough to keep The Beard at bay for at least a year – maybe two, if I am careful.

Then I got to thinking about car preps. If the S does hit the F, it won’t be possible to head down to the local NAPA. Which is why it might be good to have the following stuff on hand at home:

* Extra oil filters (and oil) –oil prep

People know gas (and diesel) will be harder to find – maybe impossible to find – if the S hit the F. And even if you home-brew or otherwise obtain fuel, eventually, your vehicles – and generators, tractors and power equipment – will need new filters. And fresh oil. Otherwise, they’ll eventually fail – no matter how much fuel you have stocked up (or make). Having extra filters and oil on hand to do a changeout for each vehicle you own at least twice (which ought o be sufficient to ride out a 2-3 year ordeal, at least) is probably a very smart prep.  It’s also a no-risk one – because even if the S does not hit the F, you will eventually need to change the oil/filter – and oil/filters don’t go bad (as stored food sometimes does). Worst case, you’ve saved yourself some money by buying stuff now (at lower cost) than it will probably cost you a year from now.

* Batteries –battery pic

Make sure they’re up to date – and do all you can to keep them charged up, so that if the grid goes down, your batteries will still be ok for at least a couple of months’ worth of use. I rotate three trickle chargers among my fleet of vehicles and equipment so that each one is kept ready-to-go. This saves me hassle – as well as money. If you have multiple vehicles, you’ll know that batteries can get expensive. Doing whatever you can to make them last as long possible – S hitting the F or not – is just common sense.

* Tires –

The rubber that hits the road is the result of a complex – and fragile – chain of technological processes, all of which may be impaired or crippled by the S hitting the F. Tires are a petroleum-based product, for one. Imagine the effect of a major war in the Middle East on the price – and availability – of any product that is petroleum dependent. Your bug-out vehicle is only as good as its tires. Make sure they are good tires – no physical damage, plenty of tread. Ideally, new – or at least, not old. Some people keep a bug-out vehicle “just sitting” for a SHTF scenario. But if it’s been sitting for years, you might find out you’re not buggin’ out – on account of flat/dry-rotted tires. Don’t let that happen to you. A set of fresh “meats” might be worth more than a pocketful of silver coins if things go pic

* Basic Maintenance –

Routine stuff – belts, hoses, brake pads (and brake fluid) spark plugs and air filters – it’s a really good idea to take care of this before you really need to take care of it.  As with engine oil/filters, buying ahead of time – so you have these items on hand, in your garage – will mean one less thing to sweat if things do get hairy. The S may not hit the F head-on. It might be a glancing blow – enough to cause horrendous economic problems (price inflation and shortages) such that the parts that are easy (and cheap) to acquire today could be not-easy to acquire (and far from cheap) tomorrow.


Fuel type – and storage – is a subject of much discussion among people trying to prepare for the possibility of a short-term (or medium-long term) economic-societal disconnect. Let’s take a look at some of the issues – and problems.

* Gasoline –storage gas pic

Most vehicles (and portable generators) run on gas, which is a highly refined as well as not very stable product – meaning, it doesn’t have a very long shelf life. It is designed to be used fairly quickly – days/weeks after having been refined. It is imperative, therefore, to treat (and store) the fuel in such a way as to maximize its shelf-life. Most people know about Sta-Bil “red” – the fuel stabilizer sold at  just about every parts place and Wal-Mart across the country. But you’ll want to buy some Sta-Bil “green” – the lesser-known marine-grade stuff. I wrote a detailed article about that here. It costs a little more, but it’s hard to put a value on having fresh fuel  – and a generator that starts when you desperately need it to. Like when you need to power the well pump that brings drinking water up from 200 feet beneath your house.

* Diesel –

It is less refined than gas – though that is changing, courtesy of government “low sulfur” fuel mandates. However, you can realistically expect diesel to last longer than gas – and if you buy red-dyed off-road diesel for just-in-case, it ought to last a very long time indeed, if stored in a sealed container and kept in a temperature controlled environment. Even then, it’s a very good idea to buy some anti-algae additive and mix that in with your fuel cache.cans pic

* Natural gas/propane –

The main advantage here is almost indefinite shelf-life. Suburbanites may find their gas lines have been turned off in a S hitting the F situation, but this will not affect portable storage units (such as the ones that you use with backyard gas grills) or the larger tanks for home heating use common in rural areas. It is possible to rig a car to run on either fuel – though you will need specialized parts as well as the knowledge to install them correctly. More important – in a S hitting the F situation – will be your ability to heat food (and yourself) as well as to power a generator. gen pic

I did an article a few months ago about converting a standard portable gas-engined generator to operate on gasoline and CNG or propane; see here for that. Doing this conversion is fairly easy and fairly cheap – less than $200 for most kits. If you do the conversion – and store up 100 lbs. or so of fuel – you’ll have less to worry about if the S hits the F. And less to worry about if it doesn’t – because the CNG/propane isn’t going to go bad on you.


You might also be interested in these S hitting the F articles about “everyday preps ” – and S hitting the F vehicles.

Throw it in the Woods?


  1. I would suggest finding non-ethanol gas for storage as well as adding the Sta-Bil. I always use it despite costing a few cents more a gallon.

  2. I was thinking a bicycle tire pump would be a good backup for the backup air compressor, but then I got out said bicycle pump today, 1yr old, brand spankin’ new, and it has a leak spewing out oil.

    Are all bicycle pumps as undependable as the one I had?

    Which got me to thinking about tires. Before tires went up in price not too long ago I was thinking it would be a good idea to buy some spares and store them away. Car, motorcycle, bicycle, they all dry rot. Is there a way to prevent that? Other than not storing them directly on concrete.

    [Self: you’re being lazy, just do a search and post the link.]

    Later, maybe.

    • You need to get a quality bicycle pump. Mine is a Serfas. I use it for my cars frequently. It’s faster than hooking up the compressor.

  3. If you’re stuck in your car for whatever reason during cold and/or wet weather, a 3# coffee can, or similar, with a resealable lid, while uncomfortable, can save you getting out of the car.

    • Rev, a trash bag will do same and much more while taking up virtually no space before use. I keep a partial roll of 15 G trash bags in the cab and a roll of 55 G trash bags in my toolbox for whatever reason I might need them for and those reasons are countless. Either bag works for a rain coat but the larger bags are great for pulling over your body with your cap on, making a slit for the bill and then a larger area to see through. I like to have something under a bag in a cold rain as you’ll eventually get very uncomfortable from cold rain pounding on your head. Depending on what you have to do, you can simply keep it complete and keep your arms dry or cut holes if you need your arms. I used to keep a large plastic can for a friend who couldn’t seem to do his duty off the bow of the boat and for when you can’t get privacy as you can get on your knees behind the console. I always have a roll of trash bags no matter what vehicle I’m in. In fact I always have a goodly amount of quart ziplocs also, preferably the freezer type. Another good thing to have is a pair of those cheap scissors from Harbor Freight that will cut just about anything. I’ve used them for everything from cleaning fowl to cutting sheet metal.

  4. Great topic and the discussion of staying and fighting versus fleeing to live another day is very interesting.

    I think what is needed is the question of what types of SHTF scenarios are we talking about? A temporary natural
    catastrophe and a full scale gubment martial law crackdown – and everything in between – offer up different ways to think and prepare.

    Bugging out requires having someplace safe to bug out to and which will sustain survival. Shootn and scootn can be effective for one to four people in good health and with stout mental reserves. Not so much for a family with small children or elderly folks to take care of.

    Digging in might be the only option for some due to the aforementioned handicaps. But digging in also makes you an easy target for both looters (not too much of a problem if your lead investments are sound) and, worse – much worse – gubment forces. Going toe-to-toe with the modern amerikan military machine (which includes the standing army formally known as the police) is suicide. Learn and practice fourth generation warfare. Digging in in a major city is just foolish. If you have not moved away from any major city (or its suburbs) you are already toast.

    I recommend digging in for as long as possible but have and be well prepared to bug out too. To me bugging out means accepting that your life is had by minutes and not days.

    Above all else, the one thing that is the life or death deal breaker is the attitude that you will survive. Lack of will is a death sentence.

    • “(not too much of a problem if your lead investments are sound)”

      FerFal’s website has a number of real world examples showing how that’s not exactly true, no matter how well you’re setup. It’s double-trouble in the country-side. YMMM of course.

      • I respect Ferfal, but two things to keep in mind:

        1) He’s moved to fucking Ireland, meaning he may understand a certain brand of SHTF but he knows or cares nothing about the underlying political reality of where he lives. Ireland??? Another collectivist hell-hole under Rothschild-Saxe-Coburn-Gothe rule? I’d rather die at my doorstep.

        2) Selco–his take on SHTF urban warfare turbo-charged my desire for at least a country place, if not a full-on move to the country NOW.

        • methylamine, your comment really has no bearing on the examples FerFal provides about living in the countryside.

          Most of the examples he provides have nothing to do with him personally.

          If you live in the countryside, or are thinking of it, I highly recommend you look up those examples (if they’re still there)… just to know.

          As to your points, I think his first choice was Texas, but you know, like most(?) people he likely needed to go where he could find employment AND was allowed into the country. I’m not certain, but I think the unitedstate wouldn’t let him in. He had relatives in Europe, so he had an in.

          The way I saw it was, it wasn’t so much going TO Ireland as it was getting OUT of Argentina.
          He did have faith in the Euro, no one is perfect. At least he was a Ron Paul fan.

          My thought to this comment, “…Ireland??? Another collectivist hell-hole under Rothschild-Saxe-Coburn-Gothe rule?…” was: aren’t they all?
          Not that I don’t entirely disagree.

          Back to my main point, it’s a good idea to be aware of all the angles and not to be, for lack of a better word, smug, in being well armed in the countryside.

          Some people might take offense to that. They shouldn’t.

          I guess FerFal’s take on living in the countryside is the opposite of the one commonly found on Survival Blog. On his blog, FerFal inserts some thoughts about how and why cities were formed early in civilization from an architectural perspective to support the idea that the countryside has a downside… which make loads of sense, and he combines that take on things with observations of modern life and the fact that no one can hear the screams for days.

          I’m not exactly defending FerFal, nor am I attacking Survival Blog, exactly. They both have good points and bad points, The worst point of them both is they seem to be peachy with cops. And that makes me want to puke.

          Whenever someone talks about moving to the countryside for SHTF I picture some scenes from the film Dr. Zhivago. A self-imposed prison of sorts? Additionally, there’s weak points in every plan. That said, I hope it works out ok for everyone.

          Anyway, I’m a big fan of moats. Got plans for one?

        • Good counterpoints, Downshift.

          My criminal-defense-lawyer friend and my Dad also read Ferfal. We all modified our plans a little accordingly; I’m that much closer to my semi-like-minded neighbors. I’ve even broached the topic of survival with a couple of them who are becoming good friends; they’re not as far along as we (on this site) are, but they’re at least aware.

          So there’s that.

          But reading SurvivalBlog and Selco also makes me appreciate the isolation of the country.

          So yeah; to your point, it’s not an easy decision.

          Ideally, I want BOTH options open but since I just wrote a check to the fucking thieves at foreign offshore banks the IRS sufficient to buy a new M5, that’s not entirely probable.

          Moat? Check. Preferably filled with flammable liquid and buttressed with mines.

          But none of us want to be caught in a siege; I think Ruby Ridge, Waco, LDS in Texas, and Chris Dorner provide ample examples of what Our Dear Leaders do to patriots-in-place. Don’t be there when they come.

          • Because, Jim, making what I make and suddenly disappearing off the tax rolls has certain consequences.

            As in, Guido and Co. kidnapping me and putting me in a cage.

            How do you avoid paying into The Machine? Or don’t you?

            I’m always willing to hear of viable strategies. AFAIK I’m structured as favorably as I can be, aside from outright just not paying the bastards.

            I was talking to a fellow libertarian software developer (or is that redundant?), and he and I agreed we’d prefer to withdraw the entire amount to be paid and burn it in a trash can in front of the revenuer’s offices.

            I’d go further and make a giant papier-mache middle-finger out of dollar bills and burn that.

          • “Ideally, I want BOTH options open”

            My thought too.

            The outskirts of a small town of a population of about 50 seems close.

            It’s funny how I want that now, but in my youth, that would be considered the worst of all worlds.

            As far as moat, I was thinking more along the lines of a seeping trickle of water to make the ground too soft for criminals and kidnappers of the non-state kind to get in and out easy by foot or by car.
            Maybe toss in some thorn bushes, the kind that flatten tires, with a dash of prickly raspberry bushes in a line, and a big ugly gate (the kind that says there’s not much of value here) with a cattle-crossing-stopper deal.

            Maybe some peacocks as outer perimeter alarms?

            If it was in Texas or there-bouts there could be those vicious African deer with long straight horns?

            All outside my current price-range though.

          • Fifth, I really got a kick out of that “cattle-crossing-stopper deal”. I’m laughing with you. Unfortunately a cattle guard only keeps out cattle, not cattle thieves or any other sort. Take it from a guy who’s been there, they come in helicopters unless there’s too many trees to land close by and that’s debatable since I knew of one raid by helicopter that did not have enough room. The ground troops found a burned down house and the mostly dead from the helicopter. Funny, I only knew about this because of the land owner, never was in the news of any sort. I can’t help but think an underground escape would be best but that’s a large problem.

          • @Eightsouthman:

            An underground escape is *mandatory*.

            Every siege the government’s perpetrated has ended in burning out the patriot; at Ruby Ridge, the chopper bearing the incendiary and fuel was spotted by the media shortly before it dropped its load, and had to veer off.

            But otherwise it’s amazing how flammable patriots and dissidents seem to be, it’s like they’re made of phosphorus or something. A really odd coincidence, those flammable people.

            As far as a place in the country–job #1 would be to have at least a buried shipping container or large-bore sewer pipe as a storm cellar/hideout place.

            Tunnels would be extra-nifty…for disappearing, or for the more entrepreneurial among us, surprising them with a sudden onslaught of flanking fire.

            Speaking of counter-tactics–wouldn’t those new MRAPs the Heimatsicherheitsdienst is so proud of make excellent slow-cookers? If they were high-sided, tank-trapped, or jacked up in the rear then roasted slowly with a fire below I imagine you’d have some very tender pork.

          • Meth, I have designed an underground shipping container buried beneath another container with grid power, solar power, a water well and fresh air, all hidden so well it would take days and a cutting torch to figure out there was another container. A person could hide out there until the heat was distracted or had given up if you have a small underground relief from your house to throw them off and make them think you’re gone. It’s a great SHTF set up that I haven’t been able to sell but I haven’t tried very hard. It takes a great deal of equipment and labor as well as expertise and none of it comes cheaply. I would like to have the entire perimeter wired with high explosive if they get too close to discovering the hideout.

          • Cliches, I hear em now more than ever, “fight for what we believe in'”, “minds are terrible things to waste,” I won’t go down without a fight,”. ….
            In order to stand up to the machine then you have to be prepared to not give hem stuff and EVADE them. Salons as people keep giving hem money that they coerce out of you, then you are their bitches.
            Come on over for more cliches…

          • Jim, you do what you do. Which, by the way, you still haven’t spilled–do you pay income tax?

            I fully realize none of us are
            a) liable for it legally
            b) obligated morally

            Nonetheless, Guido & Co. will be there for you.

            I’m not small fries; I’m not big enough to pay lawyers tens of thousands to set up endless trusts and shells, but I’m not small enough to disappear and have them consider it not worthwhile to come after me.

            I’m in that wonderful upper-middle; commonly known as milk cows and beef cattle.

            I quit paying, it will be noticed eventually.

            I’m not going the Irwin Schiff route, either…not while I have kids to raise.

            It’s not the stand I’m going to make…there are other more important battles yet.

  5. Another handy item to have in your auto arsenal is a good floor jack. I’ve had to stop and get the dreaded scissor jack out to change a tire and it is a joke. Never put your leg under the frame if you are using a scissor jack. Some of them barely raise the vehicle up enough to put on the replacement tire.

  6. Here’s a good article covering a lot of what was said, this in particular:

    “Running away is only for the rich … Actually, the only people who can afford to stay put are the rich. If they have a problem, they can afford the 400-dollar-an-hour suits needed to sort it out. If they can’t sort it out, they have the means to tie up their opponents in court long enough to do a disappearing act.” …

    Flight AND Fight

    Between asset forfeiture:

    … and sewers backing up (thanks dom, just one more thing I hadn’t thought of) and everything in-between,… well, staying put seems kind of crazy.

    If I have to move to the countryside to escape the city, I’ll consider the countryside in every geographical area, in a different state or in a different country. In the meantime I’ll do the best with what I got.
    Maybe get me one of them Golden Tickets.

  7. For several years, I have been using a 45 watt solar power kit from Harbor Freight to keep batteries charged on all my little-used vehicles and equipment. I made a simple frame base from aluminum scrap metal and added 2 wheels to roll it around, and added clips to a 50′ extension cord to keep it in a sunny spot. Of course, you can also use it as intended to keep small electronics running or recharged during power outages.

  8. All this talk about SHTF is making me homesick for a new country. I was never much good at stock market trading. The theory is that you can catch time the next investing wave when you passed the crest and get a better surf going by jumping to the front of another oncoming surf. But knowing when the last wave was missed and when a new trend has begun is much on the same problem.

    For example, its most likely that U.S. is on the downward slope and the helpful economic crest of the past has passed along with our old freedoms. The trough is on the way. It may be that things just keep driveling off into slumber land dismal economy. Or maybe its SHTF. But, then the real problem is just like stocks picking the next big winner as in home country. As far as I’m concerned they are all depressing. But I’d rather give an educated guess then having to reuse my toilet paper here.

    Besides I kinda hate to say it but tis country the U.S. has been nothing but a land of chiggers, worms, snakes, and lice for me. It would sure be nice to comfortably call something a new home or nothing of one a home. A pro bonus is to say goodbye to aquantances and friends alike that you feel obligated to say hi to even though the relationship is obviously way past dead. A couple thousands of miles may be what is needed to start fresh,like going west was many years ago. Say goodbye one last time knowing its forever.

    Doug Casey is right. How do I become a citizen on no country by being one of many with the least amount of burden and responsiblity to any of them. Also want to say that though SHTF makes sense and is wise, do you kinda feel like maybe by living so limited in some dystopic future maybe that is exactly what the control freaks want? I mean seriously I’m sure Obama and McCain Republicrats would love SHTF and for us to have no toilet paper or gasoline. They’d know where you are right now and it would save the environment from global warming.

    I want to live a upscaled life in the future and I demand it and will do whatever is necessary to get it even moving to countries way out of the way.
    Meanwhile I get a closet full of TP.

    Hot Rod

    • Never can have enough TP! -fo sho

      We have a member on here that lives somewhere in South America. I always forget where the hell it is, but he loves it. From what he’s said on here about it, it sounded awesome! Eric, chime in here if you remember. I think it was San Juan, or something like that.. Can’t freaking remember. I’ve had thoughts and many conversation about this exact thing with Eric. Then he starts talking about his farm and I about my cluster fuck of toys. Farm/toys can be found anywhere, think it’s time to pack up and roll.

        • “Should I stay or should I go now?”

          Everyone’s made some excellent points. The decision, obviously, is a very personal one. I’m staying. Partially because I’m obstinate and – goddamn it – I will not leave everything I’ve spent decades working to achieve. Partially, because I’d rather stand and fight – even if I know the odds are high I will lose – because that’s preferable to me than allowing them to win without a fight. I’m also in my mid-40s now and married and starting over in a foreign land – a land only marginally more free than this land and probably not for long – just doesn’t seem appealing to me. If there were an “America” somewhere on this earth – a Western country with legally codified and socially accepted concept of individual rights such as existed here say 30 years ago – well, then it might be tempting. But no such place exits. There are countries in Europe where it’s not as overtly barbaric (and degrading) as it is here in the USSA – but they are all nonetheless socialist-authoritarian collectives of one stripe or another in which the individual has no rights the collective is bound to respect. Switzerland, for instance, is a beautiful country with a low crime rate. But because it is a socialist state, taxation is usurious. If we moved there, we’d move from 16 acres and 3,200 sq. ft. to an apartment or condo. The kind of land/home we have here is for the rich only in Western Europe. Forget the cars. Forget the bikes. Forget the guns.

          Hence, forget it.

          I’m staying. And, if I have to, fighting.

          • eric, every now and then I must remind myself of everything you just said. Yes, I get so disgusted I want to leave for a foreign land but the more homework I do on a country the less good it sounds. I was excited to find out a person could get free land is they wanted to farm it or make it profitable in some way, too good to be true eh? And so it was since you have to be born in Mexico to own anything there. Meanwhile, even though we’re almost starving now, I still have the option(don’t know how much longer)of walking into the pasture and killing a deer or hog to have good food for more than a day or two. I can still walk 100 feet to the tank(pond)and catch some fish. I can walk out the door completely nude and not have to worry about a thing except insect stings, go work on my second garden(actually, I can’t do any of these things right now with both bones broken in one leg along with some other problems with it)or go into my barn and work on whatever needs it or feel free to do anything else I want to with the FBI, BATF and others looking over my shoulder. It’s almost enough to send me somewhere else but then again, I wouldn’t be able to raise enough money….and get out of this country with it since the state and IRS would hit us so hard, and it’s my land to begin with and not some damned bureaucrat or politicians anyway. I reckon I’ll fight when push comes to shove but that’s not the way I really want it to happen although it’s probably our own hope. The ultra-powerfull only understand one thing, the thing they themselves use, brute force. Just a few thoughts from an old man who’s seen more than his fair share of govt. abuse.

          • on ‘stuff’ I’ve noticed that it is pretty easy to tell ‘good’ and ‘evil’ wealthy people by looking at their hobbies. The ‘evil’ ones hobbies are ways to control other people. Power and money and social engineering is their hobby. The ‘good’ ones do what we do but on bigger scales.

          • I am with you, Eric. I looked into leaving the states but could not find any country with the one right I cherish the most: gun rights.

            I will not live anywhere where I am left defenseless.

            I know it is only a matter of time before gun rights are made null and void here. But hell I am over fifty and had a good life. Not afraid to go down in defense of what I hold sacred. Hope it does not come to that but it sure as hell beats dying in a nursing home.

            • Ditto.

              I’ve mentioned before my “lines in the sand.” I’ve tolerated many things; them taking away my right to own weapons is one I will not tolerate. I understand what the consequences would be – and accept them.

              I, too, hope it never comes to that. I hope that I will never live in a society that would cage me for refusing to accept restrictions and controls imposed on the innocent as pre-punishment for actions they never committed but which others have – or might.

              I hope, most of all, that there are enough good people left in this country to assure such a thing never comes to pass.

          • @skunkbear:

            I will not live anywhere where I am left defenseless.


            As much as I love the idea of Chile, one thing sticks in my craw: no Evil Black Rifles, also known as “the only physical tools effective against tyranny”.

            And agreed with Eric; nowhere else has the fundamental framework of liberty as enunciated here.

            America might be at its darkest hour now, but the racial memory of freedom still exists here like nowhere else.

            The kindling is lit. It may be enough to restart the fires of liberty before the NWO snuffs it out forever.

    • If you can get out, I say do it and best of luck to you. Personally I’m digging in. If you can run away and survive, more power to you, but I think that’s exactly what “being a pussy” is. You may live and I may die with my morals, but at least I have the moral ground to dig in and protect like minded people, not run away and “survive”.

      I read Selco’s blog and although I love the information he gives out, I despise him. He’s a quitter, a run away who “did what he had to in order to survive”….that means being a complete animal. I will not live as such a beast. People can talk all the shit they want about the “Alamo fantasies” of preppers who are stockpiling their homes with necessities. I think the “Alamo fantasy” will beat the shit out of some “bug out bag” type person who is convinced they can simply run away and survive off of primitive instincts. Sure, they might survive, but how many dicks are they willing to suck in order to breathe another breath just because they couldn’t man up and dig in with their morals?

      Doug Casey can continue skyping in with his opinions, and I’ll probably continue to listen to them, but I can only give him so much respect for living as far away as he can from the issues he fears rather than face them head on like a real man.

      • Strong words, Jacob.

        Myself, I do not think they are being pussies.
        You ever hear the phrase, discretion is the better part of valor?

        Does ‘tactical retreat’ have no meaning or place?

        How does one, “dig in with their morals”? What does that mean, exactly?

        Why does leaving demand a betrayal of morals?

        ALL the Pilgrims who came to America from Europe were pussies with no morals? I don’t get that?

        • I hear what Jacob’s saying. Up until a short time ago I would have been in 100% agreement (the digging in and staying). If the current trend continues whether you’re a pussy or not the states of existence will be dismal. I’d imagine them to be something along the lines of slave, prisoner, dead, dying, wishing you were dead, and fighting for your life. With options like that it seems the best one could hope for is the state of ‘fighting for your life’. While I’m not sure about anything I do know I don’t want to live from day to day like that! Gnomesayin’

          • “slave, prisoner, dead, dying, wishing you were dead, and fighting for your life.”

            That’s bleak.

            Who would want that?

            One thing I forgot to add, during the American Revolution (the first one) the rebels had tremendous help from those who were very far away. As far away as France, even.

            If I remember correctly, the Revolution depended on that outside help. Need I say more?

        • I hear no discussion of running away to re-arm and attempt to dismantle the current (history’s most powerful) tyranny. If the USA is so screwed, do you not think that the “white skinned Americans” running away won’t be treated just like the Nazis that tried to escape to Brazil?

          Right now it is “run away while you still can!”. To do what? This isn’t the great unknown world as it used to be. Governments control every inch of the planet. I see the only hope as staying in the USA, stockpiling necessities, and standing along side all the people that have been buying guns in record numbers.

          Running away means having to bow down to some other gang leader (whomever is in control of the land you are going to). If that is better than staying and fighting, than you have fun, I’m staying put.

          I think a lot of “awake” people think that America is being overrun by “those damned immigrants (brown people)” but fail to realize those people are coming here because they know what freedom is, and they want to maintain it. I could call them a bunch of pussies and quitters too, but now they’re “my fellow” pussies and quitters. We’ll stay here and fight for freedom, you and the rest of the wealthy people with the means to run away can have fun attempting to live in foreign controlled lands.

          • 90% of the time people can’t fight their way out a parking or speeding ticket. Do you believe the full force of the government would be easier? I hear you and I love it here too. I mean dood, did you see they closed down a freaking city martial law style for one fucking person! What do you think it will look like when SHTF?

          • I got out 12 years ago. It was best decision I ever made. Sadly I only went as far as the UK which back then was a lot more free than the US and had better opportunities for work.

            Since then it has deterioated and I prepare to go further afield.

            Drawback is that you truly do start life over again. (I had about $400 and the clothes on my back after acrimonious divorce.) It took four years to become a homeowner, but another 8 to be considered part of the neighborhood.

            Benefit is that there is a whole big world out there, and the vast, vast VAST majority is still friendly towards people who are honest, kind and willing to work hard.

            My next move though, will be my very last unless I strike it rich and thus become able to live somewhere totally off-grid.

            If you’re unhappy with current situation back home in the US of A, then by all means get out!

            It’s easy to keep in touch, and also to be a pussified keyboard warrier posting on blogs trying to wake up the many clovers or sheople as you can in hopes of one day returning home.

            • Hi PR,

              Thanks for your input on this!

              If I may, I think your experience in re moving to the UK argues against leaving.

              You mention leaving everything to start over – and spending eight years to get back to a certain level. Now, you’ve got to leave – and start over – again. If it takes you another eight years to rebuild, you will have spent 16 years of your life trying to get back to what you had and where you were 16 years ago… .

              You didn’t mention your age – but if you’re not in your 20s or young 30s, doing as you did – are doing – has to be considered in the context of the time you’ve realistically got available to rebuild and start over. It’s one thing to start over when you’re 26. Eight years down the road, you’d only be 34. But how about if you are 46? Now you’re looking at mid-50s before you get to where you were. And for people already in their 50s and 60s, such a move is often just not a realistic option. Even for those in their 40s, like me.

              But the real nut, as I see it, is that no place is really better. Perhaps there are some countries where – for the moment – one may exercise more in the way of personal liberty. But in no place are individual rights codified and socially respected. It’s only a matter of the whim of the government whether they’ll just seize your bank account, or your home (and so on). Perhaps you.

              There is no second amendment, no first amendment, no fifth or fourth amendments, either.

              So, what’s the upside?

              It seems to me the better option would be to retreat to a rural area in the US – where by dint of low population density and being away from any big government metroplex – everyday liberty is comparable to what you’d experience in a place such as Casey’s Retreat. But you have the advantage of still being in your own country and so not leaving all your stuff (and friends and family) and not having to start your work life all over, etc.

              Just my 50.

          • To comment and contribute is entirely my pleasure. And THANKS for reply!

            Just need to add, that I had little if anything built up in the old homeland.

            I am reticent by nature, and did NOTHING to become part of the neighborhood.

            Also, I like adventure. Starting over is very rewarding to me.

            That said, as the years add up, I see how I won’t want to do it more than two times more. So this time I am more careful about where I will relocate to.

            And, this time I do have some assets that will help out starting over wherever I go next.

            Some very scary life-threatening experiences at a US airport left me in a state that means I will not set foot in the US ever again – until the revolution is solidly underway. My liberty was threatened bigtime and at the time no lawyer would touch the case – too close to nine-eleven. Since statutes of limitations have passed.

            Anyway, that’s all I can contribute here.

            Enjoy your site immensely, BTW, keep up the excellent work.

            • Likewise, PR!

              I know exactly what you mean in re US airports – i.e., Submission Training Centers.

              I won’t fly, either. Not until I can fly as a free man, at any rate.

      • Hey Jacob, what issues are you “digging in and manning up on?” You mean you stay in Amerika and suck up the totalitarian abuse of power by your rulers? I don’t get it. Life is about finding meaning, ridding the mind of stress and suffering, not some macho man pursuit of seeing who holds his arm in longest in a game of cigarette burn. This is a big problem with education today, is that somewhere along the line people were taught, “sometimes you are going to have to do things you don’t like.” Bullshit. The miracle of this supposed idea of freedom is actually understanding who are your allies and who your enemies. Wanna man up dood? Try starting by fighting the people with all you got, ak-47s, lots of bullets, and living the Non-Agggression principle to its fullest, which means defending yourself with violence when your freedoms have been encroached upon.
        For more: How the non-aggression principle really works:

        And the libertarians dilemma:

        • “Wanna man up dood? Try starting by fighting the people with all you got, ak-47s, lots of bullets, and living the Non-Agggression principle to its fullest, which means defending yourself with violence when your freedoms have been encroached upon.”

          That’s exactly what I’m doing…dood. What part of running away to a foreign land is “defending yourself with violence when your freedoms have been encroached upon?”

          I’m on your side, as long as you stand beside me. If you are willing to run away when the going gets tough, well then get going. Have fun clinking champagne glasses with some South American warlord who honors your white skinned wealth because you have the means to pay them off *cough* like Doug Casey *cough*.

          • If you don’t know what I’m saying when I say I will stay put within the borders of America and “dig in with my morals”, I suggest you read through Selco’s blog (shtfschool dot com). He has numerous stories where he had to witness gruesome things (for example, he witnessed an ex coworker who turned into a prostitute for the local gang because she “had to survive”) but he didn’t do anything about it because he convinced himself he was “doing what he had to in order to survive”. I say, screw that. “Digging in with my morals” means that if I find out someone traded their daughter to the sex trade in order to get something they need “to survive”, I blow them away. If there are people outside my house demanding entrance because they think I have food stockpiled and they “need it because they’re starving” I blow them away too. Just as I don’t give to charities now, I will not be forgiving those who didn’t stockpile ahead of time, just like I won’t forgive the pussies who grabbed up all their shit and ran away.

            I’m paraphrasing here, but if the Nazi soldiers feared for the lives every time they went out on patrol, would it have been so bad? And on that same note, if all the strong willed people who could have fought for freedom in America had not run away, would it have been so bad for America after SHTF? I’m not running away to find out, I’ll be right here with my family, friends, and morals and will forcefully impose those morals on others when necessary.

            I suppose I’m actually one of the people (because I’m well prepped) who is looking forward to SHTF. True anarchy can be the birth of true freedom. Running away to bow down to some foreign government is not freedom, and it’s not honorable. (in my highly opinionated opinion)

          • We’ve all been here this whole time and looks where things are headed. Perhaps staying longer will make them better? To be honest with you I’m probably not going anywhere, but I am thinking about it. I sure as shit am not wealthy but could manage a move if I really had to.

      • If you can run away and survive, more power to you, but I think that’s exactly what “being a pussy” is.

        I’m curious whether you would apply the term “pussy” to the men and women who left Europe to come to America in, say, the 1700’s. They too could have stayed behind and dug in. Would that have been nobler and/or more effective than emigrating and eventually founding a new nation which, at least for a while, was more free than any other on earth?

        • I’m not comfortable with the “pussy” characterization, either.

          Would we call Jews who got the hell out of Germany in the late ’30s pussies? I doubt it.

          It’s not being a pussy to retreat from a hopeless fight. I’m not going to step into the ring with Brock Lazar. That’s not brave.

          It’s fucking stupid.

          • So the Jews who chose to stay and attempt to fight the Nazis are fucking stupid? And yes, their neighbors who chose to run away, rather than stand and fight with their fellow neighbors that didn’t have the means to flee, are pussies. Another great example of pussies who flee are a lot of the Chinese immigrants here in America. Their dad’s and grandfathers joined the Communist Army (rather than fight it, because hey all hope is lost, right?) so they could loot and raid their fellow citizens…just so their children could flee with the stolen loot to America and “live free”. It’s not fucking honorable, it’s not “being smart”, it’s being a pussy.

            • Hi Jacob,

              There is nothing dishonorable – much less “pussy” – about declining to go up against a vastly superior opponent against whom one has virtually no chance of prevailing. To put a finer point on this, we’re not talking “mano y mano” – one guy against another or even one guy against several guys. We are talking about one guy – against the organized collective that is government.

              So, yes, in that sense, I think it would be stupid for any individual to frontally challenge the totality that is the state. Because you’ll lose.

              And the object is not to lose.

              At the same time, this does not mean one ought never to fight. It is a question of when – and how.

              If you have support – others of like-mind who are willing to back you up, the ability to both give (and take) a hit – then, yes, by all means – fight.

              I respect those willing to fight against difficult, even impossible odds – and recognize that such people are essential, if any fight is to have a chance of success.

              But at the individual level, I cannot fault the person who, seeing that a direct fight – or even just sticking around – will almost certainly mean The End for him decides to split. Or hides.

              It’s not a pussy move. It’s the reasonable move, arguably the necessary move – unless you want to be a martyr.

          • In other words, according to Jacob’s view of the world, the term “pussy” applies to the men and women who left Europe to come to America in, say, the 1700′s.

            Strange worldview. Twisted even.

            A slave on the Plantation getting down on those who escaped. I see.

          • Eric, technically by not fighting the government, the state, because you know you will lose, is the mentally all those around us have, which is why the state is SO Strong. If each individual stood up and didn’t take such a defeatist attitude, we could bring this gigantic clover machine to its knees.

          • @Handsome Jim:

            If each individual stood up and didn’t take such a defeatist attitude, we could bring this gigantic clover machine to its knees.

            It’s a mixed strategy.

            I thought a lot last week about how I’d react to a Boston situation; talked to my dad and uncle this weekend.

            My first reaction is “fuck that”; you’re not coming in my house, period, and you’re not getting me out, period.

            But my Dad, ever wise, said “you want the State to raise your kids? Because if they kill you, that’s what they’d do.”

            Good point Dad.

            “Son we’re talking tactics and strategy–is it good strategy to die at the beginning of the war?”

            Another good point Dad. Damn, you get smarter every year I get older. Funny how that works.

            So in deference to Dad’s wisdom:

            Let’s resist them in every way possible short of absolutely necessary death.

            What “absolutely necessary death” entails, I don’t know yet.

            But my new strategy for a Boston situation is GTFO when the first signs come–i.e. a mass bombing or other “terrorist” event, also known as a “false flag”. Because they almost all are.

            Get out of the city. Live to fight another day.

            Meantime, throw your body against the gears of the machine. Educate. Fight every ticket. Sue them. Harass them; call the Temple police chief and tell him to fire the cops who took that guy’s AR-15. Call your asshole congress-creature. Ridicule them all at every opportunity.

            So what’s “absolutely necessary death”? I’m not sure yet. But I don’t want the State taking my kids either; not while they’re still vulnerable. When they’re older, I can be the father in the old “Red Dawn”–“Boys, avenge me! Avenge me!”

            The Boston situation is not the moment. Not for me, not yet.

            Maybe if you’re 20- or 30-something with no kids, play your hand then. Or 50- or 60-something, your kids independent, play your hand.

            My real weapons aren’t ready yet. Sure, the Barrett’s cleaned and ready for action; but my REAL weapons are my kids.

            They’re guided missiles, intelligent JDAM’s filling up right now with a payload of such deadliness to the control freak New World Order psychopaths they should be in a level 4 containment facility. They’re DU sabots in a space platform ready to hail down mantle-shattering kinetic energy on the scumbag chicken-necked Elite losers.

            Because the spirit, knowledge, and power of these kids will be ten times what my parents unleashed in me.

            My job is to see them through to their full yield; to dial up their idea-deadliness until they’re giga-ton mind-bombs.

            As righteous as it would be, that means no blaze of glory at my door. It means an SUV full of supplies ready to get to my uncle’s place. It means packing not just the Barrett, but McGuffey’s readers; not just the HK’s and AR’s, but the Federalist Papers.

            Because the latter are fuel for the ultimate weapons–minds.

          • Live to fight another day? The samurai would call that a waste of a life, a cowards path.
            What resistance can you present? Probably not a whole lot since you have kids to protect? But what is protecting them if every time they look up they see daddy bowing again to the state, although he really tried and pleaded his case to the court, which by the way is not on your team buddy, I am really not trying to brew up any negativity here, I want to be on your side, I want you to be enlightened and rise up, and show your kids that daddy will actually fight for something…and like I have said before, there needs to be at least 2 million of you daddies that say, yeah, fuck this, i have lived for my last day, and this is finally it.

          • Who’s bowing, Jim? Not me.

            But I stand by what I said; I’m not going to throw it away on a porch-battle. If I have to throw it away, it’ll be after I’ve been left no other option…and have taken out as much of their machinery as possible.

            2 million righteous daddies, sure. But what about their 4 million orphaned children? Or wives, left to (possibly) depend on the State for sustenance for their orphans?

            No, not yet.

          • Subversion will probably be the prudent course of action for many.

            I have my V8 interceptor and I suppose I’ll just drive out into the wasteland when I have nothing left to lose. 🙂

          • @Brent–


            Precisely. You don’t go up against the enemy at their strongest point…at your porch, massed SWAT team behind them.

            No. You do what Solzhenitsyn wished they’d done “burn(ing) in the camps” afterward.

            Sabotage the machine.

  9. Toilet paper is an important one, at least a cardboard box full which will hold about ten four packs. Picked up some dollar store razors but it is like shaving with a butter knife. That won’t matter after the brown stuff hits the spinning blades. I have duffel bags of winter hats and tobaggans. A backpack full of gloves and mittens. Basic first aid kit with space blanket and bandages and some opiate based painkillers in there. A couple of manual can openers and some canned goods. Got tons of camo gear for every season. Automotive gear I need to stock up on right now there is only some transmission fluid in the auto prep bag. My spare tire is a real one and not a donut, it is mounted under truckzilla.

  10. You want to extend the life of your razor blades? I get six months out of my Gillette TracII Plus blades by sharpening them against an old pair of denim shorts. Ten to twelve strokes down and ten to twelve strokes up after each shave. It really works!

    • Interesting, I’m going to give this a try.

      The only trick I’ve been doing to get an extra handful of uses out of my disposable razors is by drying/cleaning them with a square of toilet paper after each use.

  11. Thanks for this Eric, I think a lot of people focus too narrowly on water, food, guns in a prep situation and forget about how much more productive they could be with a vehicle in order to “get away” from all the imminent chaos, and to an area where thy can make sense of the situation.

  12. So why, you may ask, is the Marxist-in-Chief so easy on Muslim terrorists?

    Muslims in The White House

    Obama’s inner circle! No surprise here.
    This is scary and they didn’t even mention John Brennan who was sworn in (without a Bible). He converted to Islam a couple of years ago.

    Obama’s White House Staff

    Arif Alikhan – Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    Mohammed Elibiary – Homeland Security Adviser.

    Rashad Hussain – Special Envoy to the (OIC) Organization of the Islamic Conference.

    Salam al-Marayati – Obama Adviser – founder Muslim Public Affairs Council and its current Executive Director.

    Imam Mohamed Magid – Obama’s Sharia Czar – Islamic Society of North America.

    Eboo Patel – Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.

    And of course, Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett who many say is the real president.

    hat tip to Spider

      • Suddenly with Obama team R is concerned about groups that influence government. What’s most amusing is that the Muslim Brotherhood was likely a creation of the British intelligence and is likely still to this day is a group manipulated by British and US intelligence.

        It has already been well established that Obama comes from a CIA family and worked for a CIA front company himself. Having the Muslim brotherhood people around would only be a furtherance of this condition.

        Then there is radical islam which is again largely a foreign policy / intelligence operation. That’s why the US federal government funds them while at the same time telling us these people are going to kill us if the government does not protect us.

        In essence…. it’s a big pile of steaming bullshit that the american people are fed.

        • @Brent:
          For the most part, they gobble it up, look up from their empty plates and smile a big shit-eating grin then chant “USA! USA! USA!” like the mindless fucking drones they are.

          My usual optimism took a big hit when I saw those idiotic crowds of Bostonians chanting “USA!” after their own Constitution was burned in front of them.

          Was that just a psy-op? Did people in Boston really feel that way, after such a blatantly obvious police state exercise?

          Or did the media just show an isolated incident…while most of Boston fumed, and worried, and realized how much danger we’re all in?

          I don’t know. But it certainly seems Boston devoured their shit sandwich with a satisfied burp of tyranny.

          • It’s seems around the country people have now accepted martial law and house to house searches. It is very sad.

            Now they will just push to use martial law more and more. If it is done where I live I think I’ll go for a walk. Unarmed. Without ID. Sorry Comrade, I do not have my papers. What lockdown? Is this prison comrade? Sorry Comrade I’ve had the TV off, unplugged the phone because of telemarkers…. 😉

  13. Also if it a diesel coolong system nitrate level is very important. I’ve sen the inside of one that were poorly maintained so pitted the block had to be scrapped. Cavitation slowly eats away at the metal.

  14. The defecation will never strike the roto-oscillator. There will be a golden rainbow collective utopia with each according to his needs under the chicago toilet water to wine converting messiah!
    If your car breaks down the best government money can buy will come by and save you. I have to go feed my pet unicorn some fairy cake and rainbow stew.

    • Exactly. The only reason we have issues in society is because those dumbass “liberty lovers” won’t allow the government to outlaw those issues.

  15. Eric…as far as shaving goes have you considered straight razors? They are a higher up front initial cost but never wear out as long as you keep them stroped/sharpened.

    • One thing to consider with a straight razor, or any razor for that matter, is nicks and cuts. Today, when we shave and nick ourselves, it’s a simple matter to finish shaving, rinse/wash off the shaving cream, and put a little piece of TP over it to soak up the blood. Or for the slightly worse cuts, a little antibiotic ointment to help it heal up.

      What happens when you don’t have clean tap water, TP, or antibiotic ointment?

      One under-appreciated fact of life from the time before antibiotics was that it was not uncommon for what would today be considered minor cuts and abrasions to literally kill. The process goes like this: minor cut, clean it out with stream water (or whatever is available), cover it with whatever rag you have available as a bandage, cut gets red and inflamed and swollen slowly over a couple of days, infection eventually spreads to the bloodstream, person dies of sepsis (systemic blood infection) after a week or two. Not pretty.

      Back in the day, the best you could hope for was to have a little alcohol to use as an antiseptic, some truly sterile bandages (boiled long and hard), and a healthy immune system. Of course, back then it wasn’t well understood that infections were caused by bacteria, so a lot of the knowledge we have now would hopefully lead us to be more effective in treating such wounds even without ready access to medicines.

      On the other hand, in the case of a crisis, especially one lasting longer than a few days, most people are not trained in basic field medicine and are not prepared for survival more than a few days at best. If you’re in the dark, have no water, no supplies, no food, etc. you’re going to have a much harder time physically managing the act of healing from a minor cut.

      Which brings up another good point. Don’t forget to stock up on things like antibiotic ointment, OTC medications for everything you might run into, and even antibiotics, if you can.

      Also, things like gloves, good shoes, long-sleeve shirts and pants, anything that will help keep you from being cut, scraped, stabbed, etc (even by things like bushes that you have to pass through) will be invaluable in an extended crisis. Learning good practices, safe practices, on cutting/chopping wood, starting campfires, etc. are also good ideas.

      The human body is an amazing thing, and can adapt and recover from a lot of injuries. It’d really suck to be taken out by an infected wound from cutting yourself shaving. A straight razor would make that a little more likely than a safety razor.

      • SojournerMoon, I get what you’re saying, but at the same time, I’ve spent weeks out in the wilds or on the road without all that stuff and I’ve been cut, pricked, scraped, and covered in dirt at the same time, yet I was just fine.

        So I don’t place that much weight on antibiotics and such.

        I’m thinking I’ll just have to learn to live with a beard if worst comes to worst.

        However; I’m not sure women would take the same route, so they might welcome your input.

  16. Another helpful and useful article, EP. Thanks.

    To bring it back a little to autos and SHTF scenarios, I find it helpful to break preps down based on anticipated length of disruption. That way, you can plan in bite-sized amounts that don’t break the bank and will be more useful in the short-term.

    First, the basic emergency kit. Every car should be prepared for immediate emergencies that are likely to happen in your part of the world. Thus, having a fire extinguisher, some basic tools for repairs (of yours or someone else’s vehicle), jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, a little food, a little water, first aid kit, etc. In case you’re stuck on the side of the road in bad weather, or with a break down, etc. What you include in this kit is up to you, but there’s a lot of sites online that have recommendations, such as AAA. Just remember to tailor yours to your car and your locale. Not very handy to have standard tools and a car with metric nuts and bolts. Since this is the most likely scenario to happen, or to happen soon, it makes sense to focus on this one first.

    Second is the “Get Home Bag.” This is a set of items that will help you get home from work, say, if all heck breaks loose. That could be an earthquake or tornado, or a bombing or terrorist attack, etc. It’s the sort of thing you could keep in a backpack in the back of the car and would include some of the same things as the emergency kit (thus, no need for duplication). The GHB is different, though, in that it should be able to be removed from the vehicle in case the vehicle has to be abandoned in order to get home. So having it literally in a bag, able to be quickly grabbed at a moment’s notice, is important, and you’ll want to leave behind things like tool boxes and jumper cables that are really meant for the car (you have those at home, too, right?). Again, look around online and you’ll find lots of suggestions.

    Third, the “Three Day Kit.” This may or may not be something that you keep in the car. The purpose is to have food and some sort of shelter sufficient to last 3 days without outside support. This includes being able to live out of the car, if need be. This may be due to being on a journey, far from home. It may be because transportation routes are wiped out or you have to shelter in place. Once again, there are a lot of items that would overlap with the smaller kits and do not require duplication. Also, it’s possible to make a Three Day Kit fit into a backpack, depending on the materials selected, so it can potentially be portable. You’ll find many online lists and suggestions for this kit as well, much of which will actually be found on hiking and outdoors websites. In essence, this is what long distance hikers take with them, and there is a whole market tailored to supporting these adventurers (free market to the rescue again).

    After this, you start stepping into longer-term preps. Consider what would happen in a weeks long or months long disruption. What daily needs and niceties would you need? Here preps becomes progressively more expensive and grand in scale. Your choice of living location in the country will be important here, as will climate, ability to grow a garden, etc. Included in these are things like fuel, tires, belts, hoses, filters, etc. Of course, if fuel supply is disrupted for months, you may not be driving anywhere anyway. You can store up a lot of fuel, but it still will only go so far (pun intended).

    So, focusing on shorter-term disruptions and automobile specific factors, consider this:

    1. Paper maps – I prefer regular street maps as well as some sort of topographic map. Delorme makes a nice Atlas and Gazetteer for every state in the Union. They run around $20-$25 and have all sorts of back roads as well as useful information if you’re hiking. The best thing about paper maps is that they require no electricity to run. I love GPS devices, and have been using them now for 15+ years, but they need power and they need GPS satellites. Satellites can be turned off, or knocked out by solar flares, so you can’t totally depend on them in a crisis. Your car’s in-dash GPS is not very portable if you have to bail from your car, either.

    2. Alternate routes home – Know all the ways home from the places you frequent in case traffic stops you, or bridges are out, etc. Drive the back roads a few times to familiarize yourself. Keep a mental note of the direction of your house from any given point along the typical routes you’re on and the obstacles that are between you and safety. Take a look at a map, or Google maps satellite imagery, and just see what is between your work and your home. Think outside the box a little and look for cross-country routes that don’t necessarily utilize pavement or even unimproved roads. Sometimes escape may just be a cow pasture away, but if you’re too programmed to obey the law, stick to the approved roads, etc, you may pass up life saving opportunities. By the same token, don’t be a jerk and destroy other people’s property just to get where you want to get to. The right to property exists even in an emergency situation, and it’s more important than ever to abide by natural rights.

    3. Predetermined meeting places – Having a plan is helpful. Remember, in an emergency, cell phones may not work (Hint: Try text messaging instead). You may not have an alternate means of communicating that you’re safe. If your family all knows to meet at your house in an emergency, and a time frame for such to take place, then if someone doesn’t show up, you know who to look for. It’s also wise to have fallback positions for meeting places in case the primary location is not workable. Let’s say a park a few blocks away, or whatever. There you can pool resources and information with which you can plan. If it just so happens to be your home that is well prepped and stocked, all the better.

    4. Alternate means of communication. Again, the cell phones may be jammed or down and the land lines may be no better. Internet may be more robust, but what if you have no power to your house. Yes, your laptop may still work on battery for a while, and you can charge it off the car, but the cable in the wall needs power from the neighborhood switch, your cable modem needs power, and the ISP hub needs power too. Thus the internet backbone may be OK for a while, but the “last mile” may be problematic. At a minimum consider FRS/GMRS handheld radios. Those channels will be jammed pretty quickly by traffic, but if you’re in a less crowded area, you may get lucky. Predetermined channels are a must, here. For the more advanced, Citizen’s Band radio (CB) is pretty good. Not only do you get greater range, but you also tap into a little bit more information as truckers still use this pretty regularly. It’s quite easy to get reports on conditions elsewhere just by listening in or, if you’re nice, by asking. Plus, CB radios are built to be put in vehicles, and it’s still pretty popular today (look at all the whip antennas you’ll see on trucks in some parts of the country). If you’re really motivated, get into HAM radio. It requires a little study and a license, and the equipment is a little more pricey, but you get greater range and likely better information. There are portable, car-based rigs that are essentially CB radios taken up a notch. Lastly, consider a trunking scanner. These are receive-only radios that will permit you to listen in on many, if not most, radio communications in your area. NASCAR fans are generally pretty well aware of these as well as news hounds and local beat reporters. Each locale’s police and emergency services use radio to communicate, and a good scanner can permit you to track the entire conversation. This permits you to know where the problem locations are, what’s happening, and whether or not you’re in or near a bad area and need to move.

    5. Defensive safety equipment. Consider that you may have been prepared for a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks. You may be happily surviving out of the back of your SUV, but those sheep around you may become hungry, too. What happens when the “shepherds,” as police like to call themselves, or “lapdogs,” as I call them, aren’t around to protect them and provide free crap to them? Some sheep may try their hand at being wolves. Plus, there are already plenty of wolves out there, including some of the lap dogs, looking for easy pickings. Just look at what happened in Hurricane Katrina. Cops and bad people (or do I repeat myself) ruled that city for several days. Based on your vehicle, your local laws, etc, you may wish to consider acquiring and learning how to use a firearm and/or other safety equipment, getting a locking safe/box that can be secreted away inside your vehicle with such equipment locked inside but easy to get to, etc. Better yet, get your concealed carry license and carry everywhere you can, as often as you can, and have a place to lock it safely in the car (simply sticking it out of sight in the glove box or center console doesn’t count as safely locked) for when you go places you’re not permitted to carry. Best of both worlds.

    Whatever you do, don’t walk around in a daze. Don’t drive around in an unprepared vehicle. Always know where you are, how to best get home, several alternate routes, and where your loved ones can be found. Think. Plan. Prepare. No one will rescue you but yourself.

    • Wow. Thanks for that plethora of information.

      Still hoping things never come to this. I am quite unprepared.

      Anyone know what we should do about both material and human waste in a SHTF scenario?

      • Yeah, get a septic system setup and treat it like a water treatment plant. What I mean is don’t overload it because you won’t be able to get it drained out by the pump truck.

          • I think if you’re in a city, you’re pretty much screwed.

            Think NYC and Sandy as the best outcome

            Then there’s N.O. and Katrina.

          • Shoot, I don’t think you’ll have running water. If somehow there is running water ya’ll are screwed because the pumps for the city sewage won’t be working. The whole sewage system will back up into everyone’s house! YUCK

            If you have a yard I guess you could make poop holes and fill it with dirt once full and make another. Not sure man.

          • Few!

            As Dom points out, in a real crisis, not only would the water stop but so would the water treatment. Most city water is unpalatable – laden with contaminants, including feces – prior to treatment by the water authority. Disease will spread very quickly in a SHTF situation.

            The water reason all by itself is a tremendously good reason to get out of the city – and to a rural area where you have well water (or spring) available on your own land.

            And if you have land, in addition to water, you have far better options as far as sanitation. With a little work/ingenuity, the septic field can continue to function just as it functions now.

            Keeping clean – and having clean water – will be absolutely critical to surviving a month in a SHTF situation.

          • Thanks for the info everyone. I know I’m really screwed in a crisis so I hope we can avoid one for as long as possible.

            • The thing is to have some kind of plan.

              The people who are going to be hurting the most are those who do not – who haven’t a clue what they’d do if, tomorrow, they could no longer drive to the supermarket for food; if, for the next several months, there would be no food. And so on.

            • I am working on a set-up like “the farm” in Walking Dead. Those guys had a thing going, but made a critical mistake by not securing their perimeter. The zombie “herd” just over-ran them.

              That show is interesting in that that it gets you thinking along certain lines… .

          • Eric,glad to see you watch The Walking Dead. I do not watch a lot of tv but I am hooked on that show. It is not about the zombies! I enjoy the drama of the relationships but I really like the moral dilemmas it proposes. What would you have done about Randall?

            Besides not having a secure perimeter around the farm they did not have a bugout plan either. Lessons learned…

          • @Eric, skunk–

            Same here. I revile TV…but Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are just too good to miss.

            Walking Dead definitely makes me think. Watching one of the recent firefights also made me think hard about on-the-spot marksmanship skills; I find it infuriating that they can hit zombies with headshots from double-action revolvers while running, but somehow can’t hit a guy fifty yards away with an AR!

            Excellent show though.

            One thing to keep in mind…it’s partially designed to desensitize you to mass killing. They use “zombie” drills with the military to condition them to kill civilians.

  17. I used to pack a can of Fix-a-Flat in the trunk of my car. The stuff saved the day a number of times. As I recall, the drawback is, it tends to solidify in the can, making it useless. (I wonder if there’s a fix for that?)

    I haven’t carried it in a long time, this article reminded me of it, I plan/intend on getting some for just in case. I’ll put it next to my 12 volt mini-compressor and tire plug kit.
    I couldn’t recommend a tire plug kit and compressor highly enough. Even if you don’t know how to use it, I’d say it’s probably not too difficult to find someone who will help you out.
    I may never use the stuff, but better to have it, than to need it and don’t have it.

    Run flat tires might be an option but I’ve heard they ride really rough. Pricey too?

    I’ve never used the green slime tire stuff. Seems like it might be worthwhile to have, however; unlike Fix-a-Flat, it does not inflate a tire. With Fix-a-Flat, if you catch the leak soon enough, you don’t even have to jack up the vehicle. It’s good for when there’s a need for speed (not the go-fast need for speed, the other kind, as in; you’re in a bad spot and it’s a good idea not to linger, or you want to be ahead of the crowd, etc…).

    A roll of bailing wire is another thing to have. I can’t count the number of things I’ve fixed with it, temporary or otherwise.

    I think the new black tape that is advertised to seal a plumbing leak might be good to have too. I haven’t tried it out yet though, I just have the regular black tape and that has proved to be a must have in spite of the fact I haven’t had to use it roadside in quite some time.

    I’m thinking it would be a good idea to have a couple of gallons of anti-freeze too.
    Mang (I’m still laughing about that, dom)… Mang, I kind of envy those guys in the South who can get by with 100% distilled water. Some guys say it’s a bad idea to run on 100% distilled water, while others say it’s ok. I’ve had no problems going a Summer using just 100% distilled water, noticeable ones anyway. I’m likely wrong about that though.

    I only write this because I was feeling lacking in what I haven’t done after reading some of your other links. I decided to focus a bit on what I have, have done, and quick and easy things I can do inexpensively. I tell myself I just gotta keep plugging along. That, and I hope my experiences and advise might help someone else out, even if only just a little.

    Some days, I’m tempted to move to where they get around on donkey’s.

    • Anti-freeze is also anti- boil…be careful running straight water in your engines because if there is a problem the water will steam up quick. Also anti-freeze has a lubricant that preserves the bearings and seals in the water pump.

      • A bottle, tablets, or a small cardboard can of a stop-leak type product fits in an emergency bag or sits on a shelf nicely. “Lubricates water pump seals.”

        I wonder how much driving it takes to cause damage to a water pump bearing if you’re running on water only? YMMV, I suppose?

        Thanks for the reminder, Dave. I don’t have any of that stuff on hand either.

  18. For these scenarios, even those that are only “semi” SHTF, one doesn’t need to stockpile a huge amount of auto supplies. It’s not like you’re continuing to commute to work, go on driving vacations, etc. Instead, your vehicle just needs to be prepped for that “bug out” run (which hopefully will only happen once, if at all,) and the occasional trip that is tactically essential.

    Oil changes, and an extra set of tires is certainly nice. However most of us will run out of fuel before we need an oil change, and WAY before a good set of tires will wear out.

    I suggest expanding the concept we used to apply when driving the Baja Peninsula…..”drive off the top half of your gas tank.” Similarly, if your BOV has more than 50% life on its oil, tires, battery, belts, brakes etc, you probably won’t be driving enough to use them up before the fuel is all gone…..or the crisis ends.

    Fuel is by far, the weakest, or shortest, link. None of the other diesel attributes is enough to make me want to own one. But the much longer storage life is pretty compelling.

    • The most likely SHTF scenario is one that effects only you or your local community. When your laid off from a job, had to relocate due to a fire at your home, or need to get back and forth from medical appointments is not the time to have your vehicle break down.

      But, the good part is if you have planned for those things that can happen to you as an individual your 99% of the way to preparing for a nationwide or worldwide disaster.

      Best part, the well maintained vehicle is the cheapest way to go over the long term, even if the “S” hitting the fan misses you and yours.

  19. I’ve been stockpiling personal hygiene products like toothbrushes, soaps, deodorant, and disposable razors at the local dollar store. Buying 5 times the amount of items there is cheaper than buying the “normal” (heavily marketed and priced accordingly) at “normal” stores.

    Good suggestions about automotive preps. I haven’t tried them out yet but I have seen portable solar panels for camping…I wonder if they could power a trickle charger?

    • Harbor Freight sells a solar powered trickle charger for under 20 bucks. I’ve been using one for about 5 years now to keep my portable jumper box charged. It is Item #68692 and is currently $13.99.

      • Awesome, thanks for the heads up. That is way cheaper than the portable solar panel I saw at the local outdoors store for 120 dollars.

  20. Brilliant suggestions, Eric.

    I’ve been reviewing my preps; of late, I’ve been heavily reinforcing the lead side of my precious-metals buying program.

    Time to diversify.

    But when I go to SurvivalBlog, the lists are absolutely daunting; it’s easy to get discouraged when you see the insanely detailed and lengthy lists of survival preps suggested there.

    You don’t have to have three rooms full of racks covered in gear.

    You need basics–just as you point out. Few of us will have thought of everything; if it gets That Bad, we’ll be bartering mutually.

    Speaking of barter and survival, there are two excellent blogs out–Ferfal Aguirre’s book and blog, and a new guy on the block “Selco” who survived the Balkan wars.


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