Do you wear a wrist watch?

Many people don’t wear a wrist watch anymore. Nearly everyone carries a ‘smart phone’ these days and the function of a watch is on the main screen. Time, date, and all sorts of timer apps to fulfill the needs of counting time forwards, backwards, etc.

However there are the ‘what if’ scenarios that might render a smart phone useless. Whereas a good old fashioned (or modern) wrist watch may keep on ticking.

Best Watch for Preparedness

The ‘what if’ hypothetical scenarios that would turn your iPhone or Android into a paper weight are pretty extreme. However a good ol’ wrist watch may keep on ticking under many of those scenarios.

SHTF scenarios that are bad for smart phones:

– Electrical grid down for extended time. Modern life as we know it will be changed in a very big way (that’s putting it mildly!).

– EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or CME (Coronal Mass Ejection – from the sun) may bring down the grid for a very long time.

– Cyberattack may bring down the grid.

EMP Proof Watch?

Will an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) affect a wrist watch? Will your watch still work?

While no one knows for sure (thankfully it hasn’t happened yet!), a kinetic mechanical (self winding) wrist watch will certainly work after EMP.

There is also opinion that a modern solar powered watch and/or one with digital features ‘may’ still work afterwards. Why? Given their very small size, no ‘antenna’ effect, metal enclosure (or partial), and EMP variables themselves – the watch may continue to function.

Mechanical Watch

In a mechanical watch, gears are turned by a spiral spring. Energy is stored in this mainspring by turning (winding) a knob on the side. All you do is wind it up. The trick is remembering to keep it wound up!

Automatic Watch

A ‘kinetic’ self winding wrist watch is also a mechanical watch. However the natural motion of the wearer provides energy to run the watch. An oscillating weight turns on a pivot (upon movement) and keeps the mainspring wound.

Solar Powered Watch

Sunlight (and artificial light) are absorbed by a solar panel. This solar panel converts the light into electrical energy to power the watch. A rechargeable cell (battery) will store energy to power itself during the night or when covered by a wearer’s clothing (e.g., sleeve).

Popular Wrist Watches

Popular brands include Casio, Seiko, Citizen, and others.

Casio wrist watch

Today, Casio is most commonly known for making durable and reliable watches. The G-Shock lineup of shock-resistant watches is popular, as is their ‘Tough Solar’ brand of watches.

Purely based on the most number of reviews:

Seiko produced the first automatic quartz that combined the self-energizing attributes of an automatic watch with quartz accuracy. The watch is entirely powered by its movement in everyday wear. Today these watches are under the name Seiko Kinetic. They also make solar powered watches.

Apparently the most popular Seiko automatic watch:

Citizen wrist watch

Eco-Drive watches use a battery recharged by a solar panel hidden under the watch face. Their light-capturing cells are made virtually invisible behind the dial instead of highly conspicuous.

Rolex Submariner

If you’re fortunate enough to afford one, you can’t go wrong with this popular Rolex!

Some of my own input and that of our commenters – post-SHTF uses for a wrist watch include the following:

– Coordinate a time when to meet (for whatever reason). “After 90 minutes, let’s meet back here”. Accurate meet-up time.

– Use as a compass. Point the hour hand in the direction of the sun. Halfway between 12 and the hour hand (in the smallest angle) will indicate which way is south (in the northern hemisphere).

– Tactical & Security – coordination. (e.g. knowing when your night shift is up.)

– Night time. It’s difficult to perceive the time during the night.

– Medical: timing one’s pulse.

– Kitchen (timing anything) Baking, cooking.

– You wake up in the middle of the night and wonder, how long until sunrise – just check your watch.

– Estimate speed: If you hiked 6 miles and it took two hours on your wrist watch, you were traveling 3 miles per hour.

– Home canning; time required for canning recipes (important regarding food safety!)

– Meetings: it might be difficult to round up half a dozen people for a meeting without everyone carrying a watch. Or perhaps several people are asked to give a hand with a task and having everyone arrive within a couple of hours just won’t work.

– How long does each person take to walk a perimeter?

– Communication: You are supposed to communicate on a ham radio at 8:00 pm. Sorry, I missed your call!

Do you wear a wrist watch?
Do you have a preference of what you wear?

This content was originally published here.

This article was originally published by Selco at The Organic Prepper

Talking with people who are involved in prepping and meeting them in my survival courses shows me some problems that people have while they meet other survivalists, in real life or online. This is true whether they are trying to learn something or while they are trying to transfer their knowledge to other preppers.

In the end, it all comes to the few same problems that can really get in the way of your survival. One of these problems is unwillingness to be uncomfortable. Whether it is physical discomfort or mental (hearing things you do not want to hear) it is a very real problem if you cannot handle this.

Everything else is a matter of will, skills, and equipment.

The “Mr. Anderson” phenomenon

There is a man – we’ll call him Mr. Anderson here – he is interested in survival and where the world is going these days. Of course, he is looking for information about these subjects on blogs.

And then he finds the information that is worth reading and following.

But one day he decides with righteous indignation to stop to following that blog because he read in that blog articles with words like “f**k” or “s**t”.

He furiously dismisses everything in that article. And not just that article but the whole blog because words like that clearly show to him that the author is not a good or decent person.

He refuses to read one word more.

There are two very important points here in terms of survival and prepping:

Our system made us this way.

Mr. Anderson is the product of our system and society, and we are all Mr. Anderson to some extent, or at least we were at some period of time.

Mr. Anderson is a man who is preparing for the time when it all goes to hell, for the moment when there is no law, food,  or water. When he will be forced to do things that are hard…

Mr. Anderson is preparing for hell, and he can not cope with the word sh*t?

Sorry folks, but that kind of preparing is just that – sh*t.

You can not prepare for a really bad time based on feelings and the norms that system gives us today – in normal times. Otherwise when SHTF you will end up again guess where?

In sh*t.

Get out of your comfort zone and look for correct information. That’s all that matters. For a lot of people reading an article with “bad” words is exactly that – getting out from the comfort zone.

You think you are prepared to shoot at people who will attack your family? But you cannot cope with bad words?

Nope, you are not prepared.

Get used to being uncomfortable.

One of the main takeaways from my survival courses for me is that everybody wants to be prepared for hard times but the majority do not want to feel uncomfortable during the course.

Even worse, most of the folks are preparing for SHTF but do not want to feel uncomfortable even when SHTF.

During the courses, getting students outside of comfort zone is different from student to student, sometimes it is sleeping in an abandoned building with the possibility of some (some) danger.

For others, it is simply lack of functional shower.

But the majority of them usually get into the situation where they test their skills and knowledge while they are outside of their comfort zone, and that moment is actually when you see that your skills and knowledge are actually good.

Train outside your comfort zone or you’re going to have a bad time.

For those people who never tested themselves while they outside comfort zone problem is much bigger, simply because they do not realize they have a problem in the first place.

Usually, the majority of them put a lot of effort into preparing themselves to be always comfortable when SHTF. In other words, they want to live completely same life when SHTF as they are living it today and they investing money in that.

In essence, there is nothing wrong with investing money in having a life when SHTF being same as it looks today – if you are a multimillionaire.

If you are not then you are usually mixing up two important topics: necessity vs. comfort.

Necessity is what you really have to have. Comfort is only after you’ve covered all the necessities.

Your real survival skills will show up in the moment when comfort is gone.

If your comfort is gone while you are reading survival posts with bad words do not run, count it like being outside of comfort zone, your real learning may start there actually.

Mr. Anderson just wants to feel comfortable all the time.

Mr. Anderson probably gonna have really bad time once when SHTF.

Wake up, Mr. Anderson.


About the Author

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months. Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world. Read more of Selco’s articles here: And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here:

Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.

This content was originally published here.

These overlooked items are essential when SHTF

Basic prepping tips will tell you that you need to stock up on food supplies, survival gear, and water before SHTF. But did you know that aside from keeping your pantry fully stocked, you may also need these common survival-related items that are often overlooked by some preppers?

This list includes items that you use every day, and as ordinary as they may seem, you may need these supplies when disaster strikes. (h/t to

  1. Aluminum foil –When SHTF, aluminum foil can have multiple uses. You can use it to store leftovers, or you can use it to cook food. Just wrap some food in it, then place it near some hot coals to cook. Aluminum foil can also be used to line a cardboard box so you can turn it into a makeshift solar oven.
  2. Baby wipes – Even if you don’t have babies in the family, you can use baby wipes to clean yourself, especially if water is scarce.
  3. Baking soda – Baking soda is already a favorite among preppers because it can be used as a deodorant/deodorizer, dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, soap, or toothpaste when combined with other common ingredients.
  4. Books – When society collapses and you lose access to the internet, you’ll need books so you can stay informed. Aside from survival books, you can start stocking up on non-fiction and fiction books so the whole family can stay entertained even when you don’t have power.
  5. Candy – Survival food lists don’t usually include candy, but this sweet treat is a must. You can use candy to boost the morale of both kids and adults, and it’s a handy dessert. More importantly, you can use candy for bartering. Keep hard candy in your stockpile since this kind of candy has a long shelf-life.
  6. Coffee – Aside from helping you focus and stay awake, coffee is another crucial bartering item when SHTF. You can also use coffee to give your survival group a sense of normalcy when things seem bleak. Buy coffee that comes in a metal can that you can use even after the coffee is all gone. Stock up on coffee filters since you can also use them to filter other liquids.
  7. Duct tape – Duct tape is a versatile item, and you can use it to patch up almost anything, from tents to torn clothes. In a pinch, duct tape can also be used to make cordage or splints.
  8. Games – In a survival scenario, you’ll need to keep your loved ones entertained. Board games and playing cards can keep the kids occupied while the adults in your group take care of their assigned tasks around the house.
  9. Garbage bags – You’ll need garbage bags to get rid of the trash in your camp, but you can also use them to gather supplies. Garbage bags can also be used to keep things dry.
  10. Hand sanitizer – If you have hand sanitizer, you can avoid disease and infections at home or in your camp even if you don’t have access to running water. A hand sanitizer can also be used to start fires because it has a high alcohol content.
  11. Paper and writing utensils – In the event of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or a solar flare, your city could lose power. Once this happens, you’ll need some paper and pens or pencils so you can take notes. Stock up on college-ruled spiral notebooks, pens, and mechanical pencils.

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If you already have these items in your survival cache, it wouldn’t hurt to add more so you’re ready when SHTF.

You can browse more articles about other versatile survival supplies at

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by Derrick Krane

The only thing that keeps some humans from doing unspeakable things is the threat of punishment. If they get caught, they risk incarceration or other legal sanctions, as well as social sanctions of embarrassment and humiliation, and social rejection. They may fear punishment in the next life. This accountability stays the hand of many who embrace the evil at their core. Deterrence is limited, but should not be discounted entirely.

In our current society, inmates who have committed heinous crimes such as homicide with rape or mutilation of the victim, or child abuse resulting in death languish on death row for decades before they are punished by removal from this Earth. Repeat offenders get second, third, fourth, fifth chances, and all they learn is they can continue preying on others and contributing nothing to society and no one will stop them.

Even the social shame, rejection and shunning that once separated criminals from law abiding citizens has steadily eroded and deteriorated. It is no longer shameful to be a criminal. The habits of the lower class have infiltrated upward for the first time in history, as noted by British prison psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple.

Gang culture and thug culture has become mainstream. People who pay taxes, obey the law, cross at the corner with the light, and dress conservatively, are studious or who take care of their bodies are looked down on with contempt as squares, nerds, dorks, or other insults. These are all indicators of an increasingly degenerate society.

Now imagine a time and place without the at least semblance of the rule of law, and police authority to enforce laws, and courts to administer the law. This could be a nightmare scenario with nationwide societal breakdown and collapse, or it could be regional or local, as we have seen in various US cities after natural disasters, or when a president who is not well liked by “tolerant and peaceful” people gets elected.

Note that I am about to start blatantly stereotyping throughout this paper.


Someone running at you with an insane look in their  eye, holding a baseball bat yelling I am going to kill you Mother F***ker is giving unambiguous messages through their words and body language that they intend to do you harm. Or maybe not. Maybe they just really want ta hug. Perhaps you should give them a chance. You wouldn’t want to stereotype would you? [Sarcasm Alert]

Sometimes the signs are not as clear, and are more ambiguous. Predators, especially the ones higher on the food chain, are more subtle. They wear social camouflage, attempting to appear harmless s in order to close distance with you and get inside your defenses. Others just give you a funny feeling. Something about them is off, but it is hard to say what.

There are adults who display a specific set of dysfunctional, maladaptive, and predatory personality traits. In the criminal justice professional literature, they are referred to as psychopaths or sociopaths. Some sources differentiate between the two, but they basically act the same. In the psychiatric and psychological professional literature, the same individuals are referred to as having Antisocial Personality Disorder. Their character traits are:

  • Consistent violation of the rights of others through assault, rape, violence, theft, manipulation, harassment, and abuse.
  • A lack of remorse about harming others
  • A superficial, camouflaging layer of charisma, and “niceness”
  • The ability to evaluate and analyze others at a glance
  • Manipulation, deception
  • Narcissism
  • Cruelty
  • Indifference to the harm they cause.
  • A complete lack of guilt, or shame
  • They are typically believed to be without empathy, though this is debatable. They may have empathy, but they use it to experience other people’s hurt and enjoy and savor it.

There is no medication or psychotherapy which can cure Antisocial personality Disorder. There is even very little available to manage their behavior. They must be incarcerated, supervised, and contained, as they cause great harm.

These are not people you want in your life. They are barely contained in a (relatively) stable society, so they would run free in the absence thereof. (There is one highly effective treatment for sociopaths, but it is controversial. An injection of a 180 grain copper-coated lead capsule into the medulla oblongata will produce cessation of all sociopathic behaviors).


Scavengers are a bit different from predators, though they can be both at different times. Scavengers are like predators, in that they are opportunists, but they are generally less aggressive. They are looking for an easier target than a predator, and take the leftovers after the predators have already been through. Scavengers are always looking for an open window, either literally or metaphorically.


In graduate school, I was leaving the computer lab about midnight, headed for my car.  Man on a bicycle, who did not look like a student was riding through the campus. I made the mistake of looking at him.

He immediately smiled widely; steered toward me and said can you help me? No I can’t I replied, holding up my hand and getting in my car. He rode past with a hurt look. I had no idea who he was, what he wanted, or what his intentions were. Nor did I care to find out. Did I hurt his feelings Yes. Do I care? No.

Options and Methods

The best way to win is to not be there when the predator is. To do this, know their habits so you can avoid them, and know what camouflage they wear so you can recognize them

The Fight/Flight/Freeze response, and it how it protects us. 

FFF is a hardwired response in our nervous systems. In response to a real or perceived threat, we will release adrenaline from our adrenal glands, sitting atop our kidneys. Adrenaline will make muscles work harder and longer, make you hyper alert and focused, more resistant to pain, and even constrict blood vessels close to the surface to minimize blood loss in the event of lacerations.

You are now prepared to face the threat and overcome it, flee from the threat and escape it, or don’t move so the threat can’t find you. FFF will occur when you become fully aware there is a clear and immediate threat to you safety; in other words you are in Condition Red. Before entering the FFF state, you will often get warning signs.

Listening to your intuition.

. A maxim in self-protection is:

If something feels wrong, it is wrong.

Never question your intuition. If someone or something feels wrong, get away from that person and out of the situation immediately. You can contemplate an analyze ans discuss it all you want later. Maybe you were wrong and made a fool of yourself, or embarrassed yourself; maybe you hurt someone else’s feelings. So what. Your safety is paramount over someone else feelings. The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker is an excellent read. Debecker discusses how human beings have a very well developed sense of danger, which we deliberately choose to ignore

For more information on detecting potential threats, see the videos below:

Directly Threatening people

Beware of anyone gradually closing distance with you, making prolonged eye contact, or continuously glancing at you. These are also normal social behaviors engaged in by someone who wants to meet you, and begin the mutually consensual social connection and bonding process.  This is how you meet friends, lovers, and mates. Predators and scavengers also use this social process to approach their victim and get inside their social defenses.

Creepy people

Creeps can be difficult to define, but they are someone who “induces an ambiguous threat response in you”. There is something about them which make your skin crawl, and puts you on edge, though they are not making an outright threat display. Something about them just makes you feel uneasy.

The man on the bike I mentioned above was an example of a creep. There was something off about him. Why would you approach a stranger for help on a bicycle at midnight in a parking lot? He looked…off. A little vacant, maybe under the influence of drugs, maybe mentally ill, maybe someone who spent a lot of time in isolation, or all the above. In any event his social skills were lacking, and I didn’t want to engage with him.

Creep’s warning signs are highly subjective. Some things to consider:

  • The way the walk
  • The way they dress; sloppy, slovenly, poor hygiene.
  • They are too quiet (though we Introverts often get labeled as creeps; we are such watching, listening and deep in thought).
  • Inappropriate affect
  • Persistent violation of boundaries
  • Ignoring social cues
  • An inappropriate sense of familiarity
  • Commenting on how they have “seen you around”

Charismatic people

A central feature of the sociopath is that they are nice. They smile, speak eloquently and articulately, make earnest eye contact, and are attractive. It is all a façade. It is not real. It is an act to entice you and get you to lower your guard. Beware of anyone who is a little too nice, too soon. I know this sounds cynical and misanthropic, and maybe a little paranoid. I think it is realistic.

Now what?

Once a predator has been detected, your next move is the correct response. Briefly, your response can be as simple as withdrawal or retreat, or an aggressive counter-response. This is a discussion for another time, and is beyond the scope of this article. Start by learning how to detect them.


Don’t get paranoid, seeing threats where there are none. Situational awareness, and reading peoples intentions is an art, skill, and science. Like any endeavor it takes time and practice to become good at.

This content was originally published here.

There is little doubt that cell phones are invaluable in our modern world. We rely on them to stay connected to our loved ones. However, if something were to happen, such as an earthquake, an EMP attack, or some other large-scale disaster, then you might have to consider other means of reliable communication. In case SHTF, you and your family should have a backup emergency communications plan that you can use even if none of you can contact each other. (h/t to

Cell phones

In the event that society collapses or a natural disaster occurs, the first thing everyone will want to do will be to take out their cell phones and call their loved ones to ask about their whereabouts and ensure that both parties are safe. If this is still possible, go for it. It is the easiest and simplest way to get in contact with other people. However, you might not be able to make any calls if the cell phone towers are down or overloaded. Your phone might also not work during extended power outages. To avoid overloading the network, you can try sending a text message or email instead. Several short messages are more likely to go through than one long text message. Try to limit your calls for emergency situations to keep the networks as free as possible. If you are unable to place a call, wait for at least 10 seconds before redialing again. This will allow the network time to clear data.

Your cell phones should also have all your emergency contacts programmed into them. This should include the numbers of all your family members, your utility phone numbers, the number of your personal doctor, and any other emergency numbers. As an added measure, you can even print out a small list of all these numbers and laminate. That way, you can always keep a copy in your pocket wherever you go. If your phone is either lost or stolen, you can refer to this list and call or send text messages using someone else’s cell phone. If you have any children, teach them how to call 911 in case of emergencies.

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If the cell phone towers are down, another option you can use is your home landline. You can also use it to help save the battery life of your cell phone. However, if your landline phone is cordless, you probably won’t be able to use it during a power outage. If your local phone lines are overloaded, you probably won’t be able to make any local calls. However, there is a chance that most long distance calls will still go through. For this reason, it is important to establish an out of area contact. This should be someone you personally know and trust who lives a significant enough distance away to be unaffected by the congested phone lines. If you can’t directly talk to someone within your area, you can make a long distance call to this person and they can forward your message to your other family members by making another long distance call back to them.

Useful apps

If you have a smartphone, you can download some useful applications that can be of great use during emergencies. Some social media apps can let you mark yourself as safe if a disaster occurs in your area. Recommended apps you should download include FEMA, Red Cross, Emergency Alert, and other similar emergency apps. (Related: Be prepared: 3 Tips to better communicate with your family during an emergency.)

Meeting points

In the worst case scenario, you might not be able to access any forms of technology to contact your family members. Before you even find yourself in this situation, make sure to coordinate at least two predetermined locations you can all meet up at if any of you are unable to go back home. You should have two just in case one of them is inaccessible. They should be in publicly accessible areas such as a park, a library, or a school parking lot. You can also use these locations as evacuation points if anything happens to your home.

Learn more about other ways to be prepared for disasters by going to

Sources include:

This content was originally published here.

Preppers – the sort of people who build bunkers, stockpile supplies, and bear arms – aim to survive “SHTF” scenarios.

When war breaks out, when the power grid goes down, when the banks fail, when the U.S. dollar collapses, when social unrest spreads, when the stuff hits the fan… will you be prepared?

Risks are rising.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists maintains a “Doomsday Clock.” For 2019, it “sets the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight—the closest it has ever been to apocalypse.”

The Atomic Scientists are issuing “a stark warning to leaders and citizens around the world. The current international security situation—what we call the ‘new abnormal’—has extended over two years now. It’s a state as worrisome as the most dangerous times of the Cold War…”

If you don’t have an underground fallout shelter in your backyard… don’t worry. The likelihood of your neighborhood being the target of a nuclear attack is slim.

However, other SHTF scenarios are far more likely impact you or your finances at some point in the future. It could be something specific like an identity thief draining your investment accounts. Or it could be something systemic like a currency crisis.

First Things First

At the core of any practical prepping strategy is making sure your household has backup supplies of life essentials. At the top of the list is bottles of water. Also aim to keep a three-month backup supply of non-perishable foods.

From there, you’ll want to make sure you have at least two first aid kits, batteries, emergency tools and equipment, a portable power generator, firearms, and ammunition.

As for your finances, well, the ultimate SHTF money is gold and silver. The value of physical precious metals will hold up through whatever war, financial crisis or political chaos may come in the years ahead.

The Best Coins for SHTF

As an individual who is building up emergency reserves, you want to make sure the particular gold and silver bullion products you hold provide you with all the versatility and flexibility you may need during a SHTF scenario.

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You might need to use some of your holdings directly for barter. You might need to make one very large purchase or several very small ones.

In a SHTF event, the melt value of your coins may be all that counts. Don’t expect to get any premium for “collectible” or “proof” coins in barter transactions.

For that and a whole host of other reasons, you shouldn’t buy those types of coins in the first place (unless you acquire them near their actual melt value). It makes more sense to hoard non-numismatic, widely recognized bullion coins and rounds in common sizes.

You’ll definitely want one-ouncers. You’ll want fractional sizes as well, in both gold and silver.

A bag of pre-1965 90% silver coins is a good way to get widely recognized fractional silver. These circulated dimes, quarters, and half dollars are great for small-time transactions and are often as cheap or cheaper to buy than pure silver products.

However, during times when premiums for these no longer minted coins are elevated, you may be better off buying half-ounce, quarter-ounce, or tenth-ounce silver bullion rounds instead.

You can round out your emergency money metals stash with some copper bullion – rounds or copper pennies minted in 1982 or earlier. That way, you’ll never have to part with more silver than you need to in order to complete a transaction.

It’s Hard to Put a Price of Peace of Mind

Even if you think the chances are small that you’d ever need to use precious metals for barter, there’s no harm in acquiring the ability to do so.

You’ll have some hard assets to your name that will offer long-term inflation protection and can be sold into a highly liquid market for cash whenever you want to ring the register.

In the meantime, being prepared will give you peace of mind. You’ll feel more confident and rest easier knowing that you have a Plan B in place and some proper tools to put it into action in the event of a SHTF scenario.

Whether it’s a Fed-induced financial panic, or a terrorist attack that knocks out the power grid, or a cyber attack that cleans out the banking system, or something else entirely…. whether it happens tomorrow or far out in the future…it’s better to prepare decades too soon than a minute too late.

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, a precious metals dealer recently named “Best in the USA” by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC and in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal,, and Seeking Alpha.

This content was originally published here.

Prepare yourself for SHTF: Exercises you’ll need for survival

Preppers need not restrict their preparations to stockpiling, building shelters, and making bugout plans. They also need to strengthen their bodies and their minds. An article in Survivopedia recommends several types of physical and mental training that will put you in the best shape for escaping and surviving when SHTF.

Calm your mind through meditation

Your mind is an important part of your body. You must be able to stay calm even when the world is falling apart. Otherwise, you will not be able to execute your emergency plans.

Meditation is a great way to achieve a clear mind. It lets you concentrate on your breathing instead of random thoughts.

Sit in whatever position you prefer, keeping your back straight. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for the next few minutes. Increase the duration of each session.

Exercises to build up arm strength

In addition to clearing up your mind, you must build muscles for the strength to haul important and heavy loads. You will need very specific weight training exercises that target important parts of your body.

In the suitcase carry exercise, you hold a free weight in one hand and carry it for a distance. Maintain your center of balance and keep your shoulders level. Alternate between hands to even out the weight training.

The farmer’s walk is similar, except it fills your other hand with another free weight of the same mass.

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The fireman’s carry lets you carry children or disabled people. Either pick up your partner using the piggyback technique or carry them over your shoulder while their legs hang down.

For the bear hug exercise, put your arms around a heavy object. Hold it to your chest while keeping your hands from touching. Walk a short distance while carrying the weight.

Strengthening your core muscles

The core muscles are comprised of the abdomen, hips, lower back, and pelvis. They support your back, keep your organs safe, increase your lifting and carrying capacity, and help mitigate back pain.

They can be improved through core exercises. Crunches are good at building up your abdominal muscles, although they must be done correctly. Planks and side planks target the pelvis and side muscles.

Finally, the superman exercise will bolster the muscles in your lower back. To this exercise, lie down on your belly, tighten your abdominal muscles, and then raise one of your arms from the floor. Keep this position for three deep breaths. Do this for your other arm, and then later for your legs.

A great benefit of building up your core muscles is that it will reduce back problems. Your core muscles take some weight off your spine and lower back.

Don’t stop running

To complete the trifecta of physical training, you need to increase your endurance. You must be able to keep moving for long periods of time on foot, preferably while carrying something heavy.

You can start by taking up running more regularly. Start slowly by walking or jogging. Build up momentum so that you can cover a set distance at a run.

As you get more used to running, you might want to add some parkour to your routine. This high-intensity sport can help you escape danger by letting you bypass obstacles like walls and dead ends.

Lastly, take up defense classes. Knowing martial arts will allow you to take advantage of your strength to defend yourself when SHTF.

For more guides to strengthening your mind and body for surviving in a post-collapse world, go to

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When it comes to SHTF scenarios, there are many myths about what the various stages of a post-collapse world would look like. Of course, there are different causes for collapse that would present a very different set of survival situations to contend with.

For example, a pandemic would make for a very different-looking collapse than a coordinated nuclear strike on major cities. While there are plenty of factors that would remain constant – for example, any crisis that severe would also come with an economic meltdown — better understanding what really happens in a SHTF situation will help you know how to survive if one should ever occur.

Stages of Collapse

The situations that arise in each stage of collapse are very different. In addition, each type of crisis can happen with a huge range of severity. This article assumes that collapse is total, and very little remnant of our previous society exists.

So, here are some of the most common post-collapse myths that are all too easy to fall for:

You’ll Use Gold & Silver as Currency

Gold and silver are excellent hedges against inflation and other currency crises. After all, after 5,000 years, humanity has consistently returned to gold in times of economic devastation. Is it because gold is shiny? Malleable? In limited supply? Whatever the reason, humans have assigned great value to this metal and seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

However, in a total collapse, it doesn’t make sense that gold and silver would immediately become a widely-accepted new currency. First off, how many non-preppers do you know who own physical gold and silver?

Second, in the early stages, mere survival will be much more important than establishing new mediums of trade. Therefore, you’re better off bartering goods like food, water filters, feminine hygiene products, and other universally-needed essentials than trying to convince a cattle-raising neighbor to accept a gram of gold in exchange for some meat.

More likely, gold and silver would start being used as currency once enough time passes that some semblance of a formal society has begun to take shape. It would have to be at a point when day-to-day survival is no longer as much of a struggle, and more advanced systems, such as currency systems, can begin to be established.

Innovations such as digital cryptocurrencies could theoretically allow for a faster return to a system of standardized money, but there is no reason to believe that electricity and web access would still exist in many of the theoretical disaster situations that could occur.

Your Guns Will Protect You if the Government Becomes Tyrannical

Many prepping and survival websites, especially those with hyper-masculine or militant bent, focus on the threat of violence after SHTF, whether from marauding neighbors or tyrannical governments.

I do believe personally that an armed populace provides some general deterrent to the emergence of full-blown government tyrannies. And while guns certainly provide protection against violent thieves and attackers, defending your liberty with your guns against the U.S. military simply isn’t realistic.

I don’t think it’s a good way to think about surviving in a real-world situation where the government has become so overtly totalitarian that troops are rounding people up.

For example, in a severe pandemic, one could imagine martial law being declared so that people could be forced into government quarantine centers, or forced to accept some kind of vaccine or treatment for whatever disease has been unleashed. Any attempt to fight measures like these with guns is more likely to get you vaporized by a drone than free from whatever the government is trying to force you to do.

You’ll be Able to Organize with Fellow Preppers Using Cell Phones

Even if you keep a non-smartphone on hand, do you really think that networks will be available to send calls and texts? Executive orders signed under previous U.S. administrations allow the government, during an emergency, to seize control of cellular networks in the name of national security.

You’d be better off joining a community of CB radio devotees and getting your license, as these older forms of communication are more difficult to commandeer or shut down.

If You Have to Bug Out, You Can Survive by Eating Plants

As a passionate devotee of foraging, I’m all about learning as many edible plant and mushroom species as possible. Knowing how to eat and use edible and medicinal wild plants and mushrooms can make all the difference in terms of getting starches, minerals, vitamins, and medicine that you can’t get from other sources.

But with the caloric and protein needs of wilderness and SHTF survival, it would be difficult or impossible to survive on plants alone, even if you know all the edible ones in your area. Native American tribes foraged many wild plants for food and medicine but also relied heavily on hunting and agriculture.

The irony of a vegan diet is that, while many enjoy feeling closer to the earth as one of the benefits of veganism, it’s the modern privilege of not having to fight for one’s survival on a day-to-day basis that enables us to be able to completely avoid foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, and still fulfill our nutritional needs.

Whether you’re trekking through the woods to get to your hidden bug-out shelter or surviving on a farm in a remote area, you’ll probably have to abandon vegetarianism in the name of survival. And while those plants you can identify make fantastic much-needed additions to your diet, you’ll have to be able to hunt or trap in addition to foraging. If you can also find a way to grow food, then that will further improve your chances.

You Can Bug Out, or In, Indefinitely

Very few people are equipped for a truly long-term bug-out. You can prep and prep, but you can never prepare for every situation, much less ensure you can bug out to the extent that you start a semi-permanent new life.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best, and finances are always a factor in terms of being able to afford what you need for a wide variety of situations, including long-term bug-outs, very few people would actually survive for an extended period if forced to grab a gear bag and run off to the woods.

Same goes for having to bug in. After all, you can only fit so many supplies in your own home, so your options for long-term survival end up being even more limited.

You Can’t Survive Without a Stockpile of Guns and Ammo

Don’t get me wrong: guns are an enormously helpful survival tool, both for hunting and defense. But there are plenty of situations where they would be useless, or where other supplies or traits would be much more helpful.

As mentioned above, a tyrannical government as technologically advanced as that of the United States would probably not be deterred by anything but the most determined and well-nourished guerrilla resistance.

In this kind of scenario, wits, people skills, and charisma would likely be more helpful.

Your Bug-Out House is Safe

There are lots of great reasons to prepare a bug-out property if you can afford it. But assuming this will protect you entirely is foolish.

An important part of prepping and survival is to remain realistic, and from weather to pandemic to economic crisis, it’s important to remember that we all have holes in our plans. The best we can do is expect the unexpected, and prep optimistically based on that philosophy.

It’s Going to be Hard, But I’m Ready

Sorry to break it to you, but if we’re talking about a true SHTF collapse, the most realistic attitude to have calls to mind the saying, “I only know that I know nothing.

Assume that you won’t be ready for every situation, and your mind will be more open as to ways your prepping strategy can be improved. When collapse arrives, maintaining morale is critical, but overconfidence can be deadly.

Final Thoughts

Understand that no prep, or plan, is perfect. But by remaining realistic about our limitations, and the near-endless variety of emergency situations that can arise, we can increase our chances of survival and remain on the best-possible footing if disaster ever truly strikes.

One need look no further to history’s real-life disaster zones, dictatorships, and economic collapses to begin getting a realistic idea of what life looks like in the early and middle stages of a systemic crisis.From the 2004 tsunami to the Arab Spring, from Hurricane Katrina to the Venezuelan economic meltdown, we have plenty of examples to draw and extrapolate from – if we take the time to study them!

Author Bio: Eric is a nature-loving writer, experience junkie, and former Boy Scout who never forgot that time-honored Scout Motto: Be prepared. Aside from camping and survival, he loves writing about travel, history, and anything he finds strange and unique!

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