How To (Legally) Break The Rules When SHTF

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The world is set to change radically if we are ever faced with a true SHTF scenario that melts away our civility. People may literally eat each other and that is some scary stuff to imagine. We have to be better prepared to handle these events and that comes with training and practice. Of course, in today’s world we are looking at a means of prepping that works within the scope of the rules and the laws. What happens when the laws change or they disappear completely?

This is a very interesting article that is not so much about breaking laws but about fudging rules. How much control do you really have over this world? I think you are going to be surprised when you read this article. You might come out of it a little more powerful then you were going in.

Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food

Invented by the natives of North America was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.

Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It’s made of lean, dried meat that’s crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at .

These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call “survival skills” now.

After watching recent events unfold and speaking to family and friends, my wife and I decided to start prepping. Preparedness is a big part of our lives now and I would be honored to share some knowledge with you. Here at SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central we gather the best prepping, survival, homesteading and DIY articles from around the web.
– “Those who prepare today will survive tomorrow.”

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This content was originally published here.

When things take a turn for the worse, your car can easily become your best and last hope of survival. If you have to travel in the event of an emergency, your car should be well-stocked with everything you might need on the road. If you love taking off on a long road trip or exploring the great outdoors in your truck, finding your way back to civilization can be a challenge if you don’t have the right gear. 

It’s important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario if you plan on taking off on an adventure. You should also have an emergency evacuation plan ready to go if your home suddenly becomes uninhabitable. When your car becomes your home away from home, make sure you have these items on hand, stored in a , to tackle anything that comes your way. 

ReadyWise offers a that is easy to store and is great to keep in your car. It includes food, water pouches, medical supplies and even entertainment. This is a great item to consider having on hand for emergencies. 

Fire Extinguisher

If you get into an accident or your car starts to overheat, it could easily catch fire. responded to by fire departments in the U.S. is a highway fire. Insulation and flammable liquids are usually the first to ignite in the event of an emergency. The fire can quickly spread if you fail to put it out in a timely manner. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand to make sure a small fire doesn’t get out of control. 

Knife or Saw

If you live in a rural area, large trees, rocks and other debris can easily block your escape route if there’s a major storm in the area. Use an all-purpose knife, axe or saw to cut through obstacles that may otherwise be a dead end. 

If you get into an accident, you or one of your passengers may be trapped inside the vehicle. Use a cutting tool to cut through the seatbelt so you can escape the vehicle in a timely manner. 

You’ll also need a knife or saw to survive in the wilderness if you get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Use a knife to build a fire, cut through trees and make shelter until help arrives. 

Emergency Radio

Your smartphone can easily lose a signal when you’re driving off the beaten path. Bring along paper maps of your route and destination to make sure you always know where you’re going. 

You may be unable to call your friends, family and the local authorities on your cell during an emergency so bring along a backup radio as well. You may need to use this for help if your car breaks down or someone needs urgent medical assistance. 

Shovel and Traction Pads

Driving off-road and exploring the outdoors comes with its fair share of risks. The ground can easily crumble beneath your feet when driving over sand, mud and snow. Bring along a hand shovel to dig your way out of these kinds of situations. Clear away the space behind or in front of your tires so you can reverse or accelerate normally. Watch out for loose patches of sand, dirt, mud and snow that may bog down your tires. 

You can also use traction pads when your vehicle gets stuck in the mud. They are made with thick slabs of rubber so your tires can get the traction they need to move forward. Lay them down in front of or behind your tires to get moving again. 

Recovery Bands or Winch

If you consider yourself a serious off-roader, you may need more than just traction pads and a hand shovel if you get stuck. Consider bringing along recovery bands or installing a winch on your vehicle so you can grab onto something when you get stuck in the mud. You’ll need to attach the winch or one end of the bands to a stable tree or rock. Use the added pull of the tree to accelerate out of the mud. 

Truck Bed Liner or Mat

Beware of the elements when hitting the road for long stretches at a time. or liner to insulate the bottom of your truck bed from rain, mud and snow The bed of your truck can become a magnet for all kinds of debris when you’re living on the go. All that excess dirt can soil your equipment over time. With a truck bed liner, you can clean off the inside of your truck bed with minimal effort. Just remove the mat when it fills up with dirt, hose it off in the grass and your truck bed will be as good as new. It’s best to stay clean and organized when your only sanctuary is your truck. 

Flashlight and Flares

Make sure you can see in the dark when driving for miles on end. If you get a flat in the middle of the night or get lost in the woods, you’ll need to find your way back to civilization. Keep extra batteries on hand as well. 

Use flares to alert others to your location if you need assistance; otherwise, it may be impossible for the authorities to find you. for search and rescue teams to find those who have gone missing in the wild. 

Under Seat Storage

As you can see, going off-road or evacuating in the middle of an emergency requires a decent amount of planning and gear. You can easily run out of storage space as you start filling up your car or truck with all this additional equipment, especially if you need to make room for recreational equipment as well, such as camping gear, bikes, kayaks or skis. 

to make the most of what little space you have. You can keep important tools, medical supplies and even food underneath the seat so they stay out of the way until you need them. This will also help you keep the interior organized so you can find what you need in a matter of seconds, instead of sorting through a bunch of different containers and compartments. 

Use this gear to make the most of your time on the road–whether it’s for pleasure or your only means of survival. 

Author: Will Ryan

This content was originally published here.

Bugging out is a central idea in prepping, and serious preppers are constantly refining, inventing and debating which procedures are best suited for keeping themselves and their families alive when the time comes to hit the road during a major disaster or some other crisis.

For many preppers, making use of a motor vehicle’s speed and cargo capacity to ferry themselves and their gear to a selected bug-out location features centrally in their plans.

ford truck

But one spin on this option that they might not have considered is actually surviving the duration of an SHTF event in their vehicle.

It might sound a little odd, but your average motor vehicle has many positives for this task. Vehicles are flexible, highly mobile, and allow you to carry drastically more gear and provisions than you could on foot.

So long as you have fuel and a clear route of travel you can reposition on demand and quickly, a process that will take considerably more time, and dramatically more effort to do the same on foot.

Any vehicle also makes sense as a central fixture of a camp at any bug-out location, providing generally weatherproof shelter for multiple people while still allowing you to get away quickly if called for.

Before you view your car as nothing more than a taxi to get you to a BOL, give this article a read, since we will be providing much information for surviving a SHTF event in your car.

Bugging Out: The Necessities Don’t Change

No matter who you are, no matter where you live in, no matter what kind of situation you are facing, you will be forced to deal with and provide the exact same survival requirements. These are the true fundamentals of survival.

Genuine needs, real needs never change: I’m talking about shelter, water, food and security. Of course, you will also need clean air to breathe, but that is usually taken for granted.

How you provide for all of these things is completely up to you. Some preppers plan to bug-in, staying home where they have all their well-stocked shelves and defensive accoutrement ready to sustain them.

This is generally a good idea, but sometimes you don’t get a choice in the matter, as the situation might become so dangerous and so untenable that you are better off getting out of there.

For those who face the dire choice of leaving their fortified and provisioned home behind, or those who are already living on vulnerable ground or amidst a shaky, risky situation, bugging out is a better (or perhaps their only) choice.

The idea that greener pastures, not to mention safer ones, are just around the next bend that will furnish the things someone needs to survive if only they are skilled enough to obtain them is central to prepping.

It is here, during a bug-out, that a vehicle takes on an entirely new level of importance.

Compared to bugging out on foot, using a vehicle for the purpose will ensure that you can travel faster, with generally better security while carrying significantly more equipment, supplies and provisions then you could otherwise.

Time often equals life in a crisis situation, and saving your energy and your effort for the other necessary tasks of survival instead of spending it on locomotion is generally a winning strategy.

But you can take this idea several steps further by relying on your vehicle as a sort of mobile camp, in a way, and you don’t even need a larger vehicle like an RV or truck to do it.

How Your Vehicle Can Fulfill Your Survival Requirements

Almost any automobile can afford you many advantages when it comes time to an evacuation, and can enable you to survive living solely out of the vehicle with a good plan and a little bit of foresight.

Have a look at the list of pros and cons below. We will break them all down further in the next section:

Vehicle Advantages

  • Excellent Carrying Capacity – Compared to hauling supplies on your back, any vehicle will enable you to carry dramatically more equipment and bug-out supplies.
  • Mobility – A vehicle affords you far greater speed, range and climbing capability with exponentially less exertion than on-foot movement.
  • Weather Protection – A vehicle in good shape provides very good to excellent weather resistance from wind and rain, and some protection from cold. Assuming you have fuel, its climate control features might be a boon!
  • Power Supply – A functional vehicle will ably charge all small devices with the necessary adapters, and can even run small appliances like air compressors and refrigerators.
  • Transport Capacity – If anyone in your family or group is injured, infirm or just less able, a vehicle will move them all the same with no additional exertion required on their part.
  • Greater Work Capacity – A vehicle can tow, push and pull with force far outstripping any human.

But every rose has its thorns, and despite all the advantages that vehicles can afford you they do come with some distinct drawbacks that you will need to be aware of and work to minimize if you want to survive SHTF in one:

  • Fuel is a Necessity – Without fuel, the only thing your vehicle can do for you is provide rapidly diminishing battery power and some shelter from wind, rain and cold. It’s utter dependence on fuel of one form or another means your plots and plans will hinge on storing enough and resupplying when required.
  • Terrain Restricted – Compared to a human on foot, any motor vehicle, even the most capable of off-road rigs, will be confined to the places it fits, and further restricted by underlying terrain. It is comparatively easy to immobilize a vehicle, especially off road.
  • Required Secondary Skills – Truly relying on your vehicle means you must be able to take care of it. That means spending time, money and effort on both the skills and the tools to effect hasty, field repairs, lest you suffer a show-stopping breakdown when you can least afford it.
  • Visible / Noisy – When it comes to security, staying unseen and unheard can go a long way toward keeping you safe. It is much harder to hide an automobile or to move discreetly in one, and their engines can be heard from a significant distance away.

Regardless of these drawbacks, the capability that a car can afford you when the time comes to survive in a SHTF situation is often invaluable, especially when compared to bugging out on foot, and trying to survive a rapidly changing situation on the ground.

If you play your cards right, and work to minimize these drawbacks, your vehicle may very well become your mobile sanctuary.

In the following sections we will examine all these advantages and disadvantages in detail so you may best take advantage of or avoid them, and also provide you with more tips to help make you ready for a vehicle-borne bug-out.

Breakdown of Vehicle Advantages for Survival

Carrying Capacity

Obviously, any vehicle is capable of carrying quite a lot more cargo than a human on foot, no matter how strong your back is or how big your bug out bag is.

This attribute takes on a whole new level of significance when you consider just how much you will need in terms of equipment, survival supplies and provisions for surviving any length of time out in a world currently experiencing chaos.

Assuming you have not done much in the way of multi-day hiking or deep expeditions out into the wilderness, ask any prepper who has, or who has better yet done a bug-out dry-run on foot.

They will tell you that a bug-out bag fully laden with supplies can easily top 50 lbs or more, and some of your most essential provisions like water and supplies for security like firearms and ammunition are darn heavy.

These are things you have to have if you want to have an honest chance of survival, and so will everyone else in your group compounding the logistical burden even further if certain members are not as capable as others.

A vehicle that is operational can greatly alleviate the strain, providing ample internal and external cargo room along with the brute mechanical power needed to move it with a little more than a press of the accelerator.

Even so, your average vehicle cannot carry absolutely everything you want plus the kitchen sink. You’ll still need to develop a load plan, check the total weight, and then upgrade the vehicle and drive accordingly to compensate if heavily laden.

Action Items

  • Plan load according to requirements/number of people in group.
  • Determine gross weight of vehicle when loaded; upgrade suspension and brakes as necessary.
  • Learn how to handle a heavily loaded vehicle.


Perhaps a vehicle’s single, greatest strength. Any vehicle not mired in bad conditions or stuck in gridlock will take you farther, faster and with much, much less effort than going on foot.

When you are in a time-is-life situation (as so many true SHTF events are) the speed of a vehicle will translate into a much better chance of getting out of the danger zone before things turn against you, or reaching minimum safe distance when peril is imminent.

Range is part of mobility, and in a head-to-head contest a vehicle blows any mere mortal out of the water so long as it has a reasonably clear path.

Even a gas-guzzling SUV or pickup truck can go for over a hundred miles in a single day on a single tank of fuel, taking you far from harm when the chips are down, or enabling you to reach distant locations in a reasonable amount of time.

This can also afford you the capability to get to family/group members quickly when the chips are down.

Journeys that would take many grueling hours of travel on foot can be accomplished in a short time by a vehicle, and this level of mobility is a boon that you should definitely try to take advantage of if at all possible in a crisis.

Action Items

  • Assess what BOLs and routes are made viable due to vehicle mobility.
  • Determine range under worst-case scenario conditions so you don’t overextend.

Weather Protection

So long as your vehicle is in good repair, all you’ll need to do to gain protection from wind, rain, a degree of protection from cold and possibly even sweltering heat is climb inside, shut the door and relax.

For all but the most spartan vehicles its body work and weather sealing will keep out rain and wind water, allowing you to stay high and dry. This is an important consideration when you understand that simple exposure is one of the biggest killers in any emergency situation.

A vehicle provides a certain amount of protection from cold also, even when it is not running.

It will definitely keep snow and frigid wind off your back, but it also forms a proper shelter that is more easily heated by both body heat and other methods, allowing you to raise the ambient temperature using little more than your own body, and perhaps a couple of candles.

Of course, if your vehicle has a functional heater you will stay toasty as long as the engine can still provide power.

While oftentimes not the best idea, your vehicle can even give you some protection from the heat in the form of shade. With the windows down or doors open for ventilation you can get momentary respite from the sun’s singeing rays.

Obviously you should not shelter inside a closed car on a hot day since it functions in essence like a solar oven.

It can provide all of these attributes with virtually no more extra effort. Compared to setting up a tarp, tent or some other temporary shelter, this will save you even more time and energy.

Power Supply

For all but the most traditionalist preppers, electronics of various kinds are integral to their SHTF survival plans.

Everything from flashlights and headlamps, smartphones and GPS, drone batteries to UV sterilization wands, so much of what we depend on to survive in this modern era is completely dependent upon electricity.

Naturally, a considerable amount of planning and effort goes into providing the requisite power for these hungry devices.

Thankfully modern preppers can rely on such field-ready contrivances as solar recharging systems, power banks and even miniature hydroelectric turbines and windmills to generate and store electricity when far from home and the grid.

But as nice as these modern wonders are, none compare to the on-demand power in abundance made possible by a vehicle.

The electricity supplied to a vehicle’s outlets by its battery, itself charged by the alternator whenever the engine is running, can all but guarantee a steady supply of electricity so long as you have fuel to run the engine.

If care is taken to supplement the vehicle’s batteries, one can even run certain electricity gobbling appliances as air compressors and small refrigerators, to implements that can make all the difference depending on your requirements.

A compressor can run air-powered tools or just inflate your vehicle’s tires. A refrigerator can keep food fresh or life-saving insulin viable.

Action Items

  • Determine what adapters are required for devices included in your bug-out kit.
  • Consider the installation of additional power points in vehicle.
  • If heavy-drain equipment required, enhance vehicle power system with higher capacity battery.

Transport Capacity

Another boon provided by vehicles is their ability to carry passengers of any age or ability, and in spite of otherwise hobbling injuries.

If you stop to consider how many people you have in your family right now that you are responsible for, if your family is like most people’s, you’ll probably have a mix of young and old, fit and out of shape, healthy and ill.

It does not take much imagination to see how trying to get all of these people out of danger on-foot during an emergency will turn into a practical and logistical nightmare.

Those worries will be a thing of the past with a car, so long as your vehicle has ample room for your passengers plus the necessary cargo. All they need do is climb aboard, strap in, and sit back.

This is the height of efficiency compared to attempting, vainly, to devise an on-foot route that is navigable by all members of your family or group as they are shortcomings and all.

Obviously, there are risks to this method, not the least of which is that any emergency or accident involving the vehicle will imperil everyone aboard, and trying to extricate those people from the vehicle in a time-is-life situation can be harrowing.

Even so, the return-on-investment when it comes to ensuring everyone is able to evacuate regardless of fitness or capability is priceless.

Action Items

  • Determine max passenger capacity of vehicle for short trips.
  • Determine max passenger capacity of vehicle for longer trips with cargo.

Work Capacity

Sometimes you just need brute force; to push something, to pull something or to tow something. With enough raw manpower you can do anything, or you could cheat and use… Horsepower!

When you need to move something seriously heavy or break something that could otherwise resist the puny attempts of men, your vehicle can serve as an excellent piece of heavy equipment capable of getting the job done so long as you use a little caution and common sense.

There are all kinds of situations where this might come in handy in a survival situation, like knocking down or pushing through barricades, retrieving another stuck vehicle, or even pulling or hoisting another stuck vehicle through the use of recovery gear.

In grave extremes, a vehicle can also easily plow through a hostile, violent crowd of people that would otherwise spell certain death for survivors on foot trying to pass them.

All sorts of options for heavy work open up to you when using a vehicle by itself or in conjunction with simple machines.

You should not imperil your vehicle needlessly, but done cautiously it’s just another advantage to recommend a vehicle as your primary SHTF survival strategy.

Action Items

  • Consider adding winch and/or straps to your vehicle.
  • Simple block and tackle pulley with strong rope can enable serious lifting.
  • Adding front and rear bull bars or reinforced bumpers can protect vehicle from bumps and nudges.

Vehicle Disadvantages for SHTF

That takes care of the advantages. Now how about the disadvantages? These are not necessarily showstoppers, but you would be foolish to ignore them and would be wise to work toward mitigating or eliminating if at all possible.

Depending on your precise plans and other factors, some of these might make a vehicle your second or even third choice for surviving a SHTF event. It is all about context:

Fuel is a Necessity

Your vehicle, no matter what kind it is, will require fuel of some type or another in order to operate. It could be gasoline or diesel, it doesn’t matter: if you don’t have it, you aren’t going anywhere.

This is no different from any other day, but your vehicle’s crucial reliance upon fuel means it must factor very highly in your planning if you want to attempt to survive a crisis in it. Generally speaking, the farther you want to go no more fuel will be required.

Fuel economy is a subject entirely unto itself, but other factors involved in the calculation include power of the engine, gearing, load, idle time, road conditions and more.

For your purposes you should principally be concerned with how far you have to go and how easy or difficult the travel conditions are.

A big, V8 SUV that must endure heavy traffic on congested roads will be getting fuel economy in the single digits. A performance optimized 6-cylinder sedan carrying a light load over an open highway at optimal speed will be able to go several hundred miles without stopping to refuel.

Keep in mind that even sitting idle with the engine on will sip more fuel than you’re probably expecting over time. This will be of particular importance if you are relying on the vehicle to provide air conditioning or heating for ambient weather conditions.

Since fuel is one of your most critical resources when relying on a vehicle, you must make plans for procuring more, and also for extending your vehicles “up time”, are there by the installation of expanded, high capacity fuel tanks or by installing external carriers for fuel cans.

Obtaining fuel will likely not be as easy as you are expecting in the aftermath of a major disaster.

Action Items

  • Analyze your vehicle’s range based on varying conditions.
  • Perform a cost-benefit analysis regarding installation of an expanded fuel tank.
  • Consider carrying additional fuel separately in specified, heavy-duty containers to extend range and runtime.

Terrain Restrictions

The vast majority of consumer vehicles are highly dependent upon paved or at least smooth and graded road surfaces for swift, certain travel.

Beyond this, the rubber tires that wheel vehicles are dependent on are surprisingly fragile and vulnerable to deflation. Almost everyone has experienced the aggravation or even the minor emergency unto itself that happens when we get a flat on the highway.

This scenario could take on grave new significance if it happens while trying to escape from a major situation with family or group in tow.

You can absolutely count on the roads you are used to traveling upon being made at least partially impassable by the events you are fleeing from, be it a natural disaster or man-made havoc.

Debris, detritus and wreckage will clog roadways and form a significant hazard to flesh and rubber alike.

Human agitators might deliberately season roadways with caltrops, spike strips or other implements designed to puncture the delicate tires of vehicles in order to discourage or prevent passage.

Special run-flat and even “airless” tires that function normally when punctured are a specialized (and expensive) option that can guarantee mobility even when ventilated with sharp objects.

And don’t get too confident in the idea that you can depart the roadways entirely and just take off cross country, winging it.

Even specialized off-road vehicles find cross-country travel challenging, extreme conditions due to seasons, recent weather and other velvets are highly variable, and it is very easy for wheeled vehicles to become stuck even on well-traveled unimproved paths.

You can improve your chances of successfully bugging out in a vehicle going off road or cross-country, but you would be well-advised to invest in significant upgrades to the vehicle suspension, drivetrain and other systems in order to enable this, and it also calls for significant experience and its type of driving and navigation in all but the most pedestrian settings.

Action Items

  • Devise alternate bug-out routes in case primaries are made impassible.
  • Learn off-road driving techniques, and routes.
  • Vehicle recovery skills and equipment are a must; prepare for stoppages!

Required Secondary Skills

As a prepper you should be very comfortable with the idea of taking care of things yourself. That is why we all do the things we do, after all!

It is certainly a good idea to be able to take care of things such as changing the oil, changing the tires, replacing fluids and so forth- but it is absolutely crucial if you truly want to be able to rely on it as an integral part of your SHTF survival plan.

Most of us can afford to outsource expertise to professionals as we go about our lives and day jobs, and we simply take the car into the shop when that dashboard light comes on, or when it starts making an unusual noise.

You won’t be able to do that during a major crisis. If any parts breakage occurs that incapacitates greatly hinders your vehicle, you must be able to take care of it, or at least patch it up, so you can get moving again. This requires a not inconsiderable amount of know-how, and you had better start learning now.

If you want to keep your vehicle on the road and rolling you should know how to change a tire, but also replace a tire on the rim or patch a tire that has been punctured.

You should be able to change all fluids, and also know you harvest them from other vehicles as well as what other varieties can work in a pinch.

You must be able to replace all major components that are likely to break, or at least ones that are able to be replaced in field conditions without the benefit of a lift or hoist.

There is much more besides these, and learning how to best affect these hasty repairs in a variety of settings and conditions; it won’t be as easy as it is in your home workshop!

This is one case where the knowledge does almost no good without the appropriate tools.

A comprehensive but compact mechanic’s tool set containing all the sockets, ratchets, wrenches, pliers, jacks, mallets and other tools you might conceivably need is a necessary part of your vehicle survival kit, and this will take up a room like anything else you carry, and also contribute to the vehicles maximum gross weight.

Action Items

  • You must learn how to perform at least basic repairs and parts replacements in order to be “SHTF Ready” in a vehicle.
  • A comprehensive toolkit and common spares must be part of your vehicle equipment complement.
  • Endeavor toward being able to make repairs in “field” or roadside conditions without benefit of a shop.

Vehicles are Noisy and Highly Visible

There are no two ways about it: any motor vehicle, except perhaps electric vehicles, are noisy, highly visible and will attract considerable attention, especially during situations where people are desperate to escape or obtain supplies.

All the attributes we have discussed that make it so attractive for you and yours make it doubly attractive for people who have not prepared and are willing to do anything in order to survive…

There is very little you can do to reduce the noise your vehicle makes except turn it off or install a highly-efficient muffler system. Loud and braggadocious performance pipes are not a positive attribute in a survival situation.

You aren’t impressing anyone, and you sure as hell aren’t scaring anyone. Using basic direction finding and listening skills, it is entirely possible for someone to ascertain your general heading or vicinity just by listening for the sound of your motor in the distance amidst the silence of a world gone quiet.

Hiding a vehicle visually is somewhat easier, at least when it is stopped and can be accomplished through a variety of camouflage methods to include painting, terrain masking, constructing of blinds and a variety of other simple techniques.

This will become especially important when you have stopped to make a temporary or semi-permanent camp, since it is a much easier thing to spot a vehicle silhouette, color or shiny surfaces from any distance compared to smaller human habitation or equipment.

You must be prepared to face down people who want the vehicle itself or just its contents in the aftermath of a major disaster.

People will be able to see the gear stacked high that you carry, or if they cannot they might assume the fact that you have a working vehicle at all is a worthy enough prize to risk trying you.

Since you will not, much of the time, be able to effectively reduce or conceal your presence while operating the vehicle, this means you must be prepared for the worst.

Action Items

  • Be prepared to hide vehicle with camo tarps or netting.
  • Learn how to field-improvise camo paint, or keep some handy for quick “day before” paint jobs.
  • Understand that a working vehicle might put a bullseye on your back.

Vehicular Survival and Sustainment Considerations

Some of your survival and sustainment procedures will change when relying predominately on your vehicle in a SHTF context, but some of them will not.

Below you will find additional advice, cautions and modifications to typical readiness considerations in the context of vehicle-borne survival:

Long Term Sustainment in a Vehicle

Your long term sustainment requirements are not particularly altered by the presence of your vehicle. Typically, in fact, they are made much easier!

Shelter and sleeping arrangements are one we have already touched on, and so long as your vehicle is not completely crammed with your bodies and gear it is an easy thing to lower the seatback, fold out a bench or climb into the bed or cargo compartment for some decent-quality shuteye.

Obviously sleeping in your vehicle will rarely be as comfortable as your bed at home, but often beats sleeping on the ground!

On that note, some vehicles, notably pickups and SUVs, can be equipped with rooftop tents or camper modules that will make setting up a proper, comfortable camp a snap, and are an easy way to extend your sleeping “quarters” for passengers who would otherwise have a tough time getting some rest in a cramped vehicle.

Even so, while the close confines of a vehicle might make for humid and fragrant sleeping arrangements, it is still entirely possible to do without these modern niceties in a real emergency.

Important Note About Sleeping In a Vehicle: Most of us are aware of the danger posed by carbon monoxide, or CO, generated by any combusting materials; car exhaust is full of it, hence why you should never let your vehicle run in an enclosed space like the garage.

CO intoxication can take effect quickly and incapacitate or even kill you, so you must treat it seriously.

Where some preppers go astray is in downplaying the threat of CO in outdoor environments; not buttoned up, not a problem, right? Maybe, maybe not.

CO can still be a major threat in a sealed cabin (doors closed, windows up) since anything that causes exhaust to back up at the tailpipe, like snow, for instance, can result in CO entering the cabin where your vehicle’s weather sealing will do a good job of keeping it bottled up until it kills the occupants or is vented.

This is especially dangerous when sleeping, since CO is such an insidious killer; a drowsy feeling followed by unconsciousness is one of its effects, and extremely dangerous to sleepers for this reason.

Ensure you always allow for ventilation if sleeping in your vehicle while the engine is running!

Food and water procurement are made much easier by a vehicle, since both will afford you the opportunity to carry additional hunting and fishing gear, or water cans, that would otherwise be superfluous in a BOB or left behind for weight considerations.

One should be careful to park a good distance away from any hunting prospects though since the sound of a running engine will easily spook game.

The searching and scavenging of materials is likewise unaffected by your vehicle, since it will only extend your range and speed, making your “foraging” area bigger than it might otherwise be on foot.

This might become doubly necessary since you might be searching for “field expedient” spare parts after your supply runs out! No worries, since you are guaranteed to find plenty of immobilized, wrecked or otherwise abandoned vehicles after a major disaster of any kind.

The only consideration when it comes to employing your vehicle for this purpose is that you may need to leave someone to secure it if you are rummaging far from where you park it. More on that in a bit.

Performance and Defensive Driving Skills

Obviously, actually driving your vehicle is going to be a big part of using it for SHTF readiness, and it pays to know what you are doing when the time comes to get a little froggy; it isn’t going to be like your Monday morning commute, most likely!

You could be contending with roadways clogged with debris, jammed with traffic or blocked by unruly bands of rioters or marauders. Freezing in place or waiting for your turn is not going to be an option when seconds count and lives are on the line.

Your first order of business is to understand how to avoid roadblocks and other obstructions that would stall your forward progress. To do this, you must start understanding and practicing (where you can) the utilization of alternate routes and paths.

Just because your vehicle belongs on the pavement does not mean you cannot hop up on to a sidewalk, jump over a curb or island, or barge through light obstructions like gates and fencing.

Start thinking about where your vehicle can physically go, not where you have always driven. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched people get mired in a bad situation during an emergency because they tried to drive like they always had.

Gridlock traffic is different. Ideally, you do not want to get so webbed in, you have no chance of egress, so if you notice a sea of cars ahead, you likely want to take the first available exit, detour, ramp or whatever so you can try for an alternate route.

If you are sure of it, you might hop onto a shoulder, sidewalk, or even try for the middle grass divider of a major highway. Be cautious that you do not “run out of road” doing this since you’ll definitely be SOL in that case!

One timely and topical issue a vehicular survivor might well be forced to cope with is a road full of, or flanked by, rioters.

This is a scary scenario and one that can lead to tragedy if you halt, get stuck, or allow people to start swarming on your vehicle. There are a couple of methods for coping with this.

First, don’t stop. Ever. The end. If you have a path that is otherwise clear, with “clear” being defined as free from obstructions that your vehicle cannot push, drive over or otherwise move through, then you keep rolling.

If your life is in danger, bump people out of the way or run them down by applying steady accelerator pressure to roll along at about 15 MPH.

You don’t need to blast people at high speed to get past them, as such an impact might set off your vehicle’s crash sensors and cut off the engine.

Ffurthermore, this is unnecessary: it never fails that some unthinking fools think the can prevent an automobile’s passage by leaning into it, even en masse, but these people are wrong.

Second, if dealing with a roadblock made from heavy obstructions or vehicles, don’t attempt to blow through it like you see on TV unless it is actually just a cart full of stuffed animals. This is another way to wreck your car and injure the occupants.

Look for a way to reverse out and get away from the roadblock, or if that is impossible or untenable then a way to slip around it; most improvised roadblocks will not completely block a road.

If they do, try to push through the roadblock at its weakest point. For vehicles, this means the end of the car opposite the engine, which is its heaviest part.

Last, treat your vehicle with a modicum of respect whenever possible: ramming and blasting over obstructions might set off crash sensors that will kill the engine, as mentioned, and can also result in damage that means your escape will be short lived.

If you need to perform dynamic, rough maneuvers attempt to do so in a way that will not result in a skid, serious collision or other adverse effect.

Safety and Security

Probably the biggest changes to your survival plans will come in the safety and security procedures, both the vehicle’s and your own. Since the vehicle is your combination sleeping quarters, supply room and of course conveyance, you will need to keep it safe.

This is easier said than done. Keeping yourself safe from harm while in the cramped cabin of any vehicle is another can of worms.

Let us first consider physical safety while occupying a vehicle. This could be imperiled by people or by events.

Generally speaking, you want to keep a good, compact fire extinguisher inside the cabin of the vehicle at all times since a vehicle fire will not only strand you, but destroy all of your possessions needed for survival as well.

Seat belts are a contentious issue, since many preppers see them as a greater hazard than benefit when it comes to SHTF survival. The idea of being tangled up in a seatbelt after a crash or during an attack has kept many preppers awake at night.

On the other hand, a seatbelt is likely the only thing that is going to save your life if you are involved in any kind of significant crash. What to do?

My attitude is simple: Seat belts off when at slow speed or rolling though a congested area where people might be the primary hazard. Seat belts on when at high speed or travelling cross-country.

Simple, and makes best use of your equipment’s safety features, while mitigating secondary risks.

Self-defense against humans is another biggie preppers worry over. Bottom Line Up Front: You are either driving, or shooting, not both.

You are not Jason Bourne, and sure as heck not John Wick. Trying to drive and shoot means you’ll do both poorly, and either crash or shoot yourself, or your vehicle.

If you are driving, drive. Let passengers do the shooting, if they can and it is required. If they cannot, use the vehicle to get away from a threat quickly or as a weapon itself.

Keeping the vehicle safe when you are not in it is tricky; essentially, you cannot, unless it is guarded and/or well-hidden. Vehicles attract attention, no two ways about it, and are themselves seen as prizes or loot-boxes by opportunists.

If your vehicle, resplendent with all your gear and supplies, is left unattended and unguarded it is vulnerable! You cannot count on any vehicle security system, even armored bodywork and windows to resist a determined attempt to get in.

Lastly, there is one more vehicle survivability factor that you should keep in mind, even it is a fringe threat: EMPs. EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses, can be generated by natural cosmic phenomena, or as a byproduct of a nuclear warhead detonation.

However they occur, they are speculated to fry absolutely anything with a computer chip or circuit board.

That means the vast majority of modern vehicles, so dependent on computer-controlled everything, will be done for, and will require extensive repair and refit to work again at all.

Older vehicles, especially those that rely on carburetors, are far more likely to resist these effects. If you want a truly comprehensive level of readiness, you should consider one of these older models, and keep it in tip-top shape.


A vehicle can be an excellent choice for surviving a SHTF scenario if you work hard to maximize its advantages, and work equally hard to minimize its disadvantages.

The passenger carrying capacity, cargo hauling capability and sheer power, range and speed of a vehicle make it indispensable for escaping disasters or dealing with the aftermath.

Don’t think you can only try to escape on foot, or that your vehicle will not be viable: with the right plans and the correct preparation, it might be just the ticket to whisk you and yours out of danger.

vehicle survival Pinterest image

This content was originally published here.

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by Selco Begovic

Words are important, to be sure that we are talking about the same things and situations. We need them so that we can somehow “categorize” things.


Because we are living in a world where we want to have reasons and “boxes” where we can put all those reasons for everything. We want to then file away the actions that we are going to take because of those reasons.

We want everything to make sense because it is easier to work in a situation where everything has sense and reason, and where there is a clear and clean solution to everything. Not to mention we want to live in a world in which we want to make a stand – a hard stand – because we live by norms and rules that most people think are written in the stone.

It will not work in that way.

Not in a real and serious SHTF.

Right here I want to make a point that I do not classify myself as ‘better than the average prepper’ in anyway, because I do not live with such a strong need for reasoning and structures, I do not have a higher quality of daily life because of this,


I do feel better prepared for serious situations because I do not ‘need’ to always have structures and clear reasoning for my actions. This enables me to decide and act more impulsively and intuitively because I do not need to engage in a lengthy or detailed ‘reasoning’ process.

WROL vs DROL…where to start?

WROL is a word that most people imagine describes something like complete anarchy, absence of rules, law, and everything that makes up a society. Does this mean a society where human rights are absent, dictatorship rules, no freedom at all. Is that WROL?

No. It is not.

They still have laws, rules, police, and maybe courts. But their “rule of law” is not anything that you understand it to be. For example, they may have a law written where you could be jailed and detained without proper court case for months or years, simply because you criticized the government. Or, even because you wear something “improper”.

So basically it is still a world with society and order and laws. Everything is governed by the law. However, this law is absolutely different from any law that most of you imagined. You may call it lawlessness, but it is not. It is not WROL.

It is a Different Rule of Law (DROL)

In essence, for you, it might feel the same though. It will feel like hell because it is so far from what you thought it would be.

What is it really like?

Well, it could be something like we see in movies: hordes of people fighting in the complete absence of any rules for resources or whatever. But, that is a movie.

In reality, it happened, and it may well happen again, but only as a specific stage, it can be a shorter or longer stage,. It is almost always very short.


Rarely is there a vacuum of power at any level of society, and keep in mind that I talk from the experience of urban survival in an extremely broken down societal situation. As I have written many times before, we currently live in a society where the system is running, and because the system is running we do not see parts of society that are running on the “edge” or ‘fringe’ of that system.

There’s always someone ready to jump in.

We might see it as a “glimpses” in news, movies, or in the image of a local drug dealer that is somewhere standing, maybe on the corner close to your living place. That drug dealer is part of something larger, and rarely we think a lot about that larger part. There is usually a highly organized “system” behind him.

It is an example only, but those kinds of people or organizations are there, living today around us, on the fringes of the ‘normal’ system.

And guess what? Usually, they will be there ready to jump and fill the gaps as soon as they appear.

That is the reason there is no ‘power vacuum’ (or WROL). Even if, in extremes, there is going to be one it is going to be a very short time until those established and effective organizations outside of normal society “jump in”. Keep in mind that it does not necessarily have to be a criminal organization out there that will fill the vacuum, at least not criminal organizations as we see it.

There are other forces who are in the system, and who are enough organized and ready to fill the vacuum. Paramilitary organizations, political fractions, etc.

Understand, in some cases, fringe organizations, or even you and your structures at a local level,  jumping in can be a good thing. It prevents even more extreme elements or total anarchy from taking hold, that otherwise would happen. And then you are not going to have mayhem, chaos, lawlessness like in apocalypse movies maybe, then you are going to have a different rule of law – DROL.

Words are important, but it is also important to think outside of the box.

Yes, words are important. But if someone has a bag with all the essential things inside for surviving running away from home, then it is a good thing. A great thing. It is not important that he or she does not use word BOB for that bag, or does not know what that word it is.

It served the purpose or solve the problem, everything else is semantics.

On the other hand, if you are prepping for the WROL based on fantasies that are out there for years and decades, and if you are sticking hard to it, then words are important, and it is good to think about the word DROL.

There will almost certainly be little-to-no time without rules of governance. There will almost always be rules that you have to be aware of quickly and obey in order to stay safe. Usually, the more challenging the event or time, the more oppression will be used to establish ‘order’. Alternatively, you will make the conscious choice to avoid the rules, hide from them, or fight against the rules AND the structures that enforce them.

Even if you find yourself in a time where there is an absolute absence of rules, rulers, and laws, be prepared for someone or something who is coming, very quickly, who will try to impose rules, most probably by more divisions, factions, parties, or separation.

We can call it the collapse, chaos, WROL, SHTF which essentially is the truth. But make no mistake. Someone will always try to be above us, to rule.

This content was originally published here.

The term “pioneer” evokes a gritty, somewhat romantic image; the first people in a new land or frontier to start carving out civilization from the wild and sometimes hostile bounty of nature all around them.

In every culture around the world it is the pioneers who command a certain respect and not a little bit of awe.

caravan wheel

They are taking a big risk heading off into the unknown to expand the borders of their nation or empire. Throughout it all, they will have only themselves and their skills, along with possibly a few of their fellows as neighbors, to rely on.

Do you ever stop to consider how much you get done or achieve in your own life that is partially or even mostly dependent upon the goods, services and infrastructure made possible by the work of other people? Or indeed made possible by the legions of our forebears that came before us?

This is not to say you don’t work hard to accomplish your goals, but we all benefit everyday from the foundations of society that were laid down ahead of us. We can thank the pioneers of old for that!

As preppers, we can be far better prepared for the unexpected, including society toppling events, by taking inspiration from our pioneer ancestors and indeed swiping a couple of pages out of their playbook.

They, by necessity, had to practice a radical form of self-reliance: there was no calling in the experts for them; they were the experts! In today’s article I will be offering up 10 pioneer skills that are worthy of learning by modern-day preppers.

Do It Yourself or Do Without It

The pioneers of ages past lived lives of intense toil in which their continued existence was anything but guaranteed.

These are people that had to show up to raw, untouched places in the wilderness of a brand new frontier or even a brand land and do everything from scratch with what few tools and materials they brought with them, which were always limited.

They had to create shelter, learn the lay of the immediate area and the surrounding region, discover and then identify which plants and animals were helpful, and which ones were harmful, learn to hunt wild game that was good for eating, prepare the land for planting and so, so much more.

To say these people had grit is possibly the understatement of the century! If they needed something done it was up to them to figure out how to do it if they or someone in their party or burgeoning settlement didn’t possess the required skills or know-how.

Information and expertise were precious, precious things and we all benefit to this very day from the lessons they learned, bought-and-paid-for, in sweat, blood and tears.

But the result of all the toil and struggle was a people and later citizens who were profoundly self-reliant in all things. This is perhaps the most important lesson we can learn as preppers; extreme self-reliance should be an everyday value, not some pie-in-the-sky achievement that we will one day attain.

We don’t need to go back in time and live their experience to benefit from this wisdom. Instead we can adapt it for our own time and our own struggles.

In the sections below, I will share with you 10 pioneer skills lost to time our ancestors were intimately acquainted with. Ones that we should adopt again to improve our own self-sufficiency!

10 Lost Pioneer Skills

small cabin settlement in Oregon

1) Shelter Construction

Many preppers today are acquainted with the importance of shelter in an outdoor survival situation, as it is one of the most crucial tasks when it comes to staving off death from exposure.

That being said, the pioneers of yesteryear would run circles around us; where your average prepper can probably slap together a primitive shelter like a lean-to or erect a tent, your average pioneer was at least skilled enough to build a small house or cabin for himself and his family.

Building even a small cabin sounds like a pretty intimidating undertaking foremost preppers today!

Correctly siting the structure, ensuring the foundation is sound, harvesting and preparing the timber, laying on the roof and then building the chimney and fireplace from locally-sourced stone. That requires a variety of real skills!

But these are skills you should endeavor to learn, even if you are never more than a journeyman.

It is far from out of the question that a SHTF event could be severe enough on a regional, national or even global level that it is literally society-toppling in scope and scale. That means you might be rebuilding society the old-fashioned way- house by house!

It might require a tremendous investment in terms of energy and material, but for serious long-term survival you will want a proper dwelling to survive in for the long haul, not some shabby lean-to or tent.

family and caravan

2) Land Navigation

Land navigation is seeing a renaissance among modern preppers and that is great news, but it is still not nearly the ubiquitous skill that it used to be. We should all strive to correct that!

Pioneers that were moving into any new and unexplored territory oftentimes only had the vaguest idea of where they were heading based on word-of-mouth directions from people who have been ahead of them, scouts, or primitive and oftentimes hideously inaccurate maps.

The smart ones depended upon their own observation and their own instrumentation to ensure they did not get lost. You had better believe that any pioneers worth the name who were moving into deep wilderness had with them a compass, and knew how to keep a pace count while moving from place to place.

This was the only way they had of determining which way they were heading and how far they had travelled. Together, and sometimes with a map if it was dependable, these elements would help them more or less accurately ascertain their position, and whether or not they had made a wrong turn, or just overshot the mark.

We have it easy today with the proliferation of GPS devices in our phones and as standalone tools, and while these things are wondrously accurate and absolutely worth having, we probably will not be able to depend on them forever in a particularly bad SHTF scenario.

What we can depend on (if we take the time to learn how) are our analog navigation tools, namely maps and compasses. We are especially lucky today that our modern maps are extraordinarily accurate, affordable and available almost anywhere.

You will be both lucky and wise if you obtain these maps for your area and the surrounding region well ahead of time, and make them part of your survival stash. But then the real work will begin: you need to learn how to use both together in order to accurately plot your course across the wilderness!

3) Knowledge of Plants and Animals

For the old-time pioneers, intricate knowledge of the flora and fauna in their region wasn’t just a hobby, and wasn’t relegated to a just-in-case skill; wild plants provided medicine, food and material.

The local animals were much the same. If they wanted to make use of these materials, they needed to know where to go to locate them and how best to harvest them. This required committing to memory a fair bit of nature lore.

Also just as important was a thorough knowledge of the plants and animals that can hurt them, or even kill them. I have often stopped to wonder how many unlucky pioneers blundered through nettles, poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac before it was well and truly understood that these were plants you wanted to give a wide berth at all times.

I have also sometimes pondered what unfortunate soul first picked and ate a poison mushroom after confusing it with a similar look-alike. You can wonder much the same about a variety of dangerous or at least annoying animals and insects!

You can learn from the pioneer example by becoming intimately familiar with a variety of helpful and harmful plant and animal species in your region and even beyond, throughout your home country.

Your medicine might run out and your food supply could be all gone or spoiled, but you can replenish both with an intricate knowledge of the plants and animals that are good to eat and where you can find them or how you can catch them.

This takes a significant amount of study and a sharp eye for detail, but doing so will allow you to replenish your stocks from nature’s bountiful pantry.

4) Repair Skills

This is another skill that any pioneer worth the name would be at least competent at, and for a whole host of things. If something wore out or broke down that was needed, they had to be able to fix it if they wanted to make use of it.

If this was an essential item, the success of their expedition and their efforts would literally hang in the balance. This is one of those things that will suffer no excuse when the chips are really down.

Of course it is an easy thing to say “be skilled at repairing things” and another thing entirely to actually be good at it. If you stop to consider how many varied items that a pioneer might have to take care of all by themselves, it turns into quite an impressive feat that they were as independent and self-sustaining as they were.

In the course of a single day a pioneer might have to mend a hole in his clothing, repair a broken leather strap, reattach and true the wheel on a wagon, fix a leaky roof, and replace rusty or broken nails holding some contraption or structure together.

In order to do this he would have to know how to make primitive glue, sew, perform carpentry and blacksmithing, roofing, and more.

Of course there was no “standard of capability” in some pioneer handbook, and not every pioneer was equal in depth or breadth of their skill, but all of them would be expected to be generally capable of tending to their own tools and their own problems.

We should absolutely strive to do the same. You should be able to diagnose and repair problems with your dwelling, your vehicle, your firearms and even your BOB and your clothing.

And for any of you guys out here who would shirk at the idea of doing a little sewing, you can drop that right now; there is nothing girly about repairing your things when they need fixing, and a busted strap on your BOB could spell disaster when you can least afford it!

5) Trapping

Many pioneers made trapping their primary endeavor. This served important economic as well as provisional purposes for themselves, their families and their neighbors.

Hunting skills are of course excellent and can definitely put meat on the table, but the big shortcoming with hunting is that you can only be hunting in one place at one time.

Trapping, despite the modern connotations, is a highly efficient form of harvesting animals because traps work round-the-clock whether you are there to babysit them or not, requiring only periodic checking to see if they have nabbed any quarry or require resetting in case of a miss or failure.

A skilled trapper can set up a field of traps in various environments in an effort to bag a variety of animals. Trapping, on the whole, is a skill unto itself and a person could spend a significant fraction of their life mastering it.

Trapping successfully on a large scale requires intricate knowledge of the game you are after, what traps work best and in what environment and a sense of strategy, since you will be placing traps to catch animals interacting with their environment in different ways in different seasons.

The great thing about trapping is that you can fashion a variety of traps from various natural materials as well as discarded man-made detritus and expect both to work to excellent effect so long as your construction and your placement is good.

With little more than a knife and some quality cordage you can rig a variety of lethal or non-lethal traps just like your ancestor pioneers did.

This is definitely a skill you will want to add to your repertoire, especially if you are planning on surviving on your own or in a small group where manpower will be at a premium. A hunter may sleep, but a trap set never tires!

6) Tanning and Fur Harvesting

This may come as a surprise to some of you but back in the day a pioneer could not simply run down to the local department store or shopping mall and pick up a bunch of new clothes.

Particularly egregious, if you ask me, was the lack of Bass Pro Shops. What were you supposed to do when boots, waders and other cold or nasty weather gear was required?!

All joking aside, pioneers instead made use of what they had to the best effect possible. As it turns out, what the pioneers had at their disposal for clothing and other goods was the skins and furs of the animals they caught.

But this was enough most of the time. With more time, labor and the right materials skin could be converted into sturdy leather, useful for all kinds of things, and as you know it is a material we still use in abundance today. Even more valuable in cold climates was the fur of animals equipped with a warm coat.

Rabbits, foxes, bears and other animals could furnish a skilled hunter or trapper with a pelt that could then be converted into insulating outerwear of all kinds. Animal pelts and leather were also valuable trade commodities that could purchase a pioneer anything he could not craft or obtain for himself.

If you are thinking about long-term survival in an austere environment after the world goes pear-shaped, but you are only planning on harvesting animals for their meat and nothing else, you are planning to throw away extremely valuable materials in the form of the animal’s skin and pelt.

But these materials will do no good if you don’t know how to correctly harvest them, preserve them and use them in a meaningful way.

This is something you should absolutely undertake as a prepper. It is oftentimes gross and smelly work, but the result of your labors will be material that is priceless for crafting warm clothing and durable soft goods. With a little time and effort, you will look like a veritable pioneer yourself!

7) Butchery

Before you become too certain that you’ll be eating complete meals of high quality meat procured from the wild game you’re going to shoot or catch, ask yourself if you know what you’re going to do with it once you catch it.

Specifically, do you know how to best process the carcass of the animal in order to make the best use of the meat? This is important not just for preparation at dinner time, but also for preservation, which we will get to in a minute.

You had best believe that the pioneers of old did, and had to be uniformly excellent at it. Shoddy or amateur butchery could see valuable meat wasted, or at worst even ruin the meat that you worked so hard to get.

This is a sustainment skill like any other that a typical pioneer would rely on. It was not enough to have a camp butcher, although most camps and settlements did. If a pioneer was alone or out working as part of a duo in remote country, they would need to be reasonably skilled at preparing meat that was caught for eating.

You will be under the same auspices whenever you are living off the grid in a bug-out situation. Most animals cannot be roasted whole (like fish can) and will require varying degrees of preparation both for health reasons and for efficiency.

Correctly prepared meat cooks more evenly and tastes better than meat that is haphazardly hacked off the carcass. This is another instance of hard, gross and often smelly work, but it is work that must be done if you want to prosper in the wild! Of course, vegetarians need not apply…

8) Food Preservation

For pioneers, any kind of waste that could be avoided was anathema, and this edict was doubly true for any provision as essential as food. Pioneers knew how to preserve all kinds of food in order to maximize their return on investment when it came to their efforts.

Vegetables, fruits and meat were all preserved when possible in order to pad the pantry for the long winter or time of lack that would inevitably come.

The pioneers from long ago did this using all kinds of ingenious methods that are still viable today, including salting, pickling and smoking.

This was an especially popular approach with meat, since the harvest of a large game animal could produce a quantity of meat that even a couple of families cannot hope to eat before it spoiled.

Preservation was the only way to keep them viable for any amount of time after a kill. It was also done to ensure rations were available for long journeys into unknown territory.

Pemmican, jerky, dried berries and more were all popular trail food and produced by some of the most common methods of preservation available to pioneers.

We do plenty of our own food preservation today, including such ubiquitous methods as canning, but our preservation is typically made possible by modern technology, and the conveniences built-in to our modern kitchens.

That is all well and good, so long as you know how to put them to use in order to prolong and preserve your food supplies to keep them fresh.

But even so, you will not have those “luxury” appliances after the end, and for that reason it is a good idea to keep one or two primitive methods of preservation under your hat!

pioneer cattle farm

9) Animal Husbandry

Humans have raised animals on farms for millennia, and pioneers who had the skills and the breeding stock to start with certainly did for the benefit of everyone.

Farm animals can be raised for all kinds of products: chickens for their eggs and meat, cows for meat and milk, pigs for delicious pork of course, and goats for meat as well as milk, though this is less popular today.

Other animals can be raised for their wool or hair, another source of comparatively rare fiber for the pioneer.

Raising and taking care of animals is an awful lot of work, and requires many specialized skill sets along with a fair bit of room, unless someone only wants to raise a handful of chickens or goats. But the results are so often times worth it, and serve as one of the best hedges against starvation that anyone could hope for!

But aside from the occasional backyard chicken coop, people who did not grow up on a working animal farm often have no idea whatsoever what is required in the raising and care of animals.

The pioneers did, and those skills were often passed on through the generations of a given family, father to son, on and on down the years.

It might not be a skill you have considered before, since most animals are not particularly portable and if you are planning on bugging out your animals will likely not be going with you, but none the less you should learn the basics of animal husbandry.

There are farm animals all over the world, it is not impossible to domesticate certain species of wild animal and breed them in captivity.

These are skills that are worth passing on, and more importantly, are an essential part of any self-reliance plan for preppers. Take the time to get at least a basic education in animal husbandry; you might yet be glad you did.

grandpa and daughter in garden

10) Gardening and Cropping

Gardening and the planting of crops on a larger scale are not lost skills in the greater sense of things, but unless someone is a serious enthusiast or a professional farmer they are highly unlikely to understand the mysteries and the intricacies of planting to ensure a bountiful harvest.

I can promise you pioneers did, even if they were not farmers by trade. This was just one more way to ensure they had the materials and the food they needed if they could not trade for it, gather, or otherwise get their hands on it.

Most folks are not green thumbs, and that is not a surprise. Pretty much everyone knows that you can stick a seed in the ground, cover it with dirt, water it and have a reasonable expectation of seeing some green sprout in a matter of days or weeks.

But that is where most folks’ working knowledge of gardening or cropping ends. There’s so much more to it than that, including such arcane subjects as soil composition and health, crop rotation, seasonal planting, pest prevention and deterrence, and much more.

This is yet one more permaculture skill that any serious, long-term survivor should endeavor to learn even if it is not their primary method of producing food and other resources.

Much like trapping, the planting of crops, even if it is just a small garden, will produce returns out of all proportion with the effort that went into it up front, and once your plans are established all they require is periodic upkeep and regular watering. They will take care of themselves from then on, until it is time to harvest them!


Like so many other lessons, history provides us with many examples of ingenuity, skill and tenacity that we can learn from in order to improve our own performance today.

The pioneers of eras gone by can furnish us many such lessons in self-sufficiency, and the skills that they typically possessed can serve as a useful template for our own prepping.

Review this list of lost pioneer skills above and see if some or all of them do not warrant inclusion in your SHTF survival plan!

pioneer skills pin

This content was originally published here.

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(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by Daisy Luther

There are many lessons from other walks of life that can relate to survival and preparedness, such as business. The lessons I want to share today are those about travel to countries that may be less developed than ours, from my friend Greg Ellifritz’s book, .

Greg is another person in this industry, who, like me, enjoys putting himself in new and unusual positions because of the sheer joy of it. He is a soon-to-be-retired police officer who travels to third world countries on a regular basis just for the adventure of it. Greg has spent nearly two months of each year vacationing in all those places that people warn you never to go. He’s been to more than 50 countries and territories and all seven continents. (I’m green with envy and striving to catch up!)

What’s in this book for preppers and survivalists?

Greg has learned many lessons in his life of travel and he put them all together in his travel guide. But even if you aren’t a world traveler, there are many things you can learn from this book that apply greatly to survival scenarios. And what’s more, the advice Greg has given is the real deal. He’s either put it into action or made the plan in a situation that came close to needing it.

For example, where else can you learn how to properly give a bribe to an official for safe passage? Or how to manage to survive, bowels intact, in places with unsafe water and entirely different food safety standards?

The book is filled with advice on the following, all of which would be potential concerns in a post-SHTF world:

Honestly, it’s a Mad Max 101 guide that every prepper should read.

More about

The book is eminently readable. Greg has an accessible writing style and the book is filled with stories from his adventures that highlights the advice he’s giving.

He’s actually been pulled over and whacked in the face with an AK-47-wielding guy who wanted to extort money. He’s witnessed crimes far and near and had to make decisions in a split second that potentially saved his life.  You’ll be on the edge of your seat hearing about the criminals, the buses, the foreign cabs, and the interactions he’s experienced.

He shares stories of common scams in foreign places undertaken by people who are in desperate circumstances, too. These are things we could easily witness if we had our own SHTF event that left people destitute.

Greg’s recommendations are practical and focused on surviving the incident. They aren’t written with Rambo in mind, but the average traveler. This makes them very applicable to all of us.

On adaptability

I’ve written before how travel has made me a more resilient and adaptable person, so it should be no surprise that one of my favorite parts of the book is this segment on adaptability.

Guns, clubs, and knives may well be material weapons, but abstract weapons like wits, demeanor, and attitude are just as important, if not more so.” – Louis Awerbuck

I enjoy third world travel because it provides challenges that I don’t normally get to experience. Solving the problems you encounter in a third world country will quickly make you a very adaptable person, more so than any other educational opportunity I’ve encountered. One of the more difficult problems to solve is deciding what weapons you should carry and what your self-protection plans might entail. You obviously think the same way if you have made it this far in the “weapons” chapter. Let me give you some other things to think about:

I once spent some time on a small island off the coast of Nicaragua. It was a peaceful place but I still wanted to have adequate self-protections measures. Thinking through potential defensive scenarios on the island, I recognized that I was in a truly unique environment that required some adaptation from my normal plans…

…That posed quite a problem on my little island trip. There were literally only about 20 gringos on the whole island. There were two local flights off the island and two ferry departures every day. Everyone knows everyone else and most folks are related. Escape options are few. If I stab a local in self-defense, how quickly do you think the world would spread around the island that the cutting was done by “the big gringo dude?” How do you think the locals would respond? Besides dealing with the initial problem that caused me to use my blade, I would have the additional unpleasant difficulty escaping the rope of the lynch mob that would be waiting for me at my hotel.

Have you ever considered something like that?

…Just like I teach my students here, one has to solve not only the problem of surviving the initial violent encounter, but the secondary problem with the police and the criminal justice system as well. In other countries, the “secondary problem” won’t likely be a fair trial by a jury of your peers; it might be an angry lynch mob. You aren’t prepared to defend yourself unless you can handle that issue as well. Walter Mitty-like fantasies of cutting throats and throwing knives in the gutter to make a stealthy escape aren’t very productive. Don’t delude yourself. You aren’t Jason Bourne and you won’t get away with it. Make a realistic assessment of your environment and your abilities and plan accordingly. (source)

Selco has written about the same concern when discussing the use of violence. There’s almost always an aftermath of people who want vengeance for the person you just used the violence upon, and they won’t care that you were just defending yourself.

Why listen to Greg?

Greg authors one of my favorite blogs, Active Response Training, where he writes about real-life scenarios and your best-chance options for surviving such an event. He has been a police officer for 24 years.

He is a firearms, self-defense, counter-kidnapping, and wilderness medicine instructor. In fact, I’ve taken one of the most life-changing classes ever from him – I wrote about the defensive knife class I took with Greg here. If you ever get the opportunity to take one of his in-person courses, I heartily recommend them.

And your next best bet is to grab a copy of . It’s the only physical book I carry with me when I travel and I wholeheartedly recommend it, even if you have no intention of heading to third world countries.

This content was originally published here.

If the world will suddenly stop functioning tomorrow and all our complicated systems will fail, each and every one of us will have to rely on our own set of skills to make it through the day.

When every aspect of life is stripped down
to its core, survival becomes almost impossible for the “modern man.” Only
those folks that have the proper skills and abilities will rebuild the world,
and they will become a precious resource for any survival community.

I believe this year will become a turning point in the lives of Americans and other societies all over the world. Due to the COVD-19 Pandemic, preppers are no longer seen as crazy or eccentric people, and we have suddenly become “people that just want to be safe.”

We should all stop and think about how all of us are dependent on almost 100% of others when it comes to basic necessities. If the supply chain stops and there would be no store to go to tomorrow, how would you procure your food? If your home will be destroyed by a natural disaster, how will you rebuild it? How about if your car breaks down? Do you know how to fix it?

These are just a few questions that most
people don’t have an answer for. Until a few months ago, we were an “it won’t
happen to us” nation, and preppers were essentially “blowing it all out of
proportion.” There are still people out there that believe they are protected
by the government or by a certain divinity.

However, as history has shown us, we will
have to rely on our own strength to survive before any aid comes our way. If
that helps never comes, your own set of skills should be enough to help you
survive or at least join a survival community.

The following professions will become essential in a
post-SHTF world:

Doctor or Nurse

We are currently seeing the effects of not having enough medical personnel to fight the current pandemic. Italy, which is one of the countries with a great health system (I believe it’s ranked 2nd or 3rd in the world), is now facing difficult scenarios. Just like in times of war, they are no relying on triage to save those with the highest survival rate. Old people and those with pre-existent health issues are being sacrificed to save others. There’s just not enough hospital beds and personnel to take care of everyone.

The human body requires a great deal of knowledge
due to its complicated nature, and you can’t heal yourself without medical
training. A doctor or a nurse can handle most every trauma case, and they have
extensive knowledge of medicine and their use. If you have one of these
professions, you will be a privileged member of any survival group.

Carpenter or Mason

All your material things will break down,
and some require proper maintenance to withstand the harsh seasons. Nothing has
a greater psychical impact than the lack of shelter. If your home gets
destroyed, someone will have to pick up the pieces and put them together. A
good carpenter is an excellent addition to any survival group. Contrary to
popular beliefs, a carpenter doesn’t just nail pieces of wood together. A good
carpenter has extensive knowledge and aptitudes in physics, architecture, and

A mason, on the other hand, will be able to
build solid structures like walls and foundations for building and pretty much
any sort of stove you can think of to help you cook your food and heat your
home. You may not know how to make cement as people did in the old days, but a
stonemason will certainly have this knowledge.

These are two professions that will help an
individual built shelters in isolated areas, and every group will want them to
improve their survival community.

Working metal is an art form, and a blacksmith will improve the quality of life when using his or her skills to their full extent. A good blacksmith will hammer a spear, a knife and any other types of tools you would need, but also cast bullets for your firearms.

Not to mention that besides manufacturing
all sorts of tools, a skillful blacksmith will figure out ways to fix most
metal objects. Blacksmithing has become a popular hobby nowadays due to TV shows
and DIY trends that show you how to forge knives and other tools. However, this
profession is much more complex than what you see in the media.

Engineer and Mechanic

While carpenters and blacksmiths can help
you build or fix primitive items, there are scientific projects needed for
survival that require extensive knowledge on how things function in order to
build new items or repair the broken ones.

If you have to fix a solar panel, or if you
need to install a windmill, build a biogas generator, or other such survival
systems, you can do it yourself with the proper parts and a few YouTube videos.
However, designing these systems from scratch and build or improve complex
systems requires more than just a few online videos.

For example, you will not be able to
convert a diesel engine to run on biofuel without engineering or mechanical
experience. Knowing how to use a multitude of tools and how to improvise with
the items you scavenge requires a lot of school years and practice to master.

Farmer or Homesteader

For short-term survival, even the average Joe can improvise a shelter or scavenge for items needed for survival. However, as time goes by, sustaining your survival will become difficult when you have to deal with food scarcity. People have been killing each other over food for centuries, and history will repeat itself in a world cannibalized for resources. Hunger makes people do insane and unimaginable things. You’ve seen in the news how people are fighting over toilet paper, and how they are hijacking trucks carrying these basic items. What do you think will happen when the food runs out?

A farmer will be able to produce abundant
crops, even in a limited garden space. They understand the land, the weather
patterns, and plan their crop cycles for the best yield. An experienced farmer
is able to improve any type of soil by adding missing nutrients and improvise
all sorts of gardening methods.

A rancher will be able to organize and
multiply a sustainable source of livestock, and they know how to use every part
of the animal for self-sufficiency. We forgot that traditional agriculture is
what brought us to this point, and nowadays, we rely too much on technology in
our “modern farming.” If you won’t have access to that technology, how many
people do you think will be able to sustain a small garden or a decent size
farm? How about raising animals to feed a few dozen?

Although many homesteaders have become butchers by choice or by need, this is a skill that needs a lot of experience and practice. Many people can testify that this is more than a survival skill and I consider it to be a survival art. It takes a great deal of dexterity to process the game since one wrong slip of the knife, and you will spoil the entire meat.

The common belief is that a butcher only
“cuts meat” and knows how to process an animal (regarding its origin), but this
profession is much more than that. An experienced butcher knows how to keep the
meat fresh and edible for long periods of time, and they can cure it using
various preservation methods.

Cutting, grinding, and preparing meat in
any type of environment, without disregarding health practices is part of the
butcher’s knowledge. Even more, an experienced butcher knows how to take care
of the tools used for his profession.

Gunsmith and Marksman

I see guns as tools useful for survival, and they serve a multitude of purposes (defensive, hunting, offensive, etc.) and not as “instruments of death” as some call them. Just like all other tools, your guns will require proper maintenance, and having a cleaning kit is just not enough to provide peace of mind.

Breaking down a firearm for this purpose is
not a skill everyone has, but it can be learned by seeing and doing. Although
there are entire books written on this topic, unfortunately, gunsmithing is a
dying profession.

A skilled marksman that can use good
accuracy and has a successful kill rate requires years of training in the
field. He or she requires a good understanding of the weapon’s mechanics, and
they have good eyesight and are in proper physical condition.

Hunter and/or Trapper

A hunter or trapper will be able to provide
you with good sources of protein when grocery stores go out business. Some
believe that hunting is a common skill, and everyone can hunt, and they have
faith that, if needed, they will start hunting to supplement their meals.

However, this will lead to decimating the entire species, and there will be a lot of competition to deal with.  Most of these so-called hunters will die long before a certain specie gets decimated, and I can guarantee that hunting in real-life is different than what you see in movies or TV shows.

Animals have certain behaviors, and some will adapt to particular environments or scenarios if their lives are threatened. You can’t take your guns and head to the woods, hoping you will bring home some meat. Animals will spot you long before you manage to spot them, and things such as your odor, clothing, items you carry, and movement patterns will scare them away.

A good hunter knows how to stalk an animal,
how to bait it, and how to track its habits in order to bag it. The same goes
for the trappers, and while a trapper can be a good hunter, it doesn’t work
vice-versa. A trapper spends a great deal of time in setting traps and
improving his techniques, and once the traps are set, he or she will be able to
take care of other chores until something gets trapped.

A hunter, on the other hand, is
concentrated on stalking and tracking the animal, and there’s little to no time
for other activities. Not to mention that a trapper can set traps even for
unwanted human guests and track fellow humans in case needed.

Every social gathering, even if it may be a
short-lived one, needs a leader. Leadership becomes a greater necessity when
you are trying to build a survival community, and many fail to see their
utility as a post-“SHTF professionals.” This trade becomes mandatory as
communities grow and develop since most folks need rules and laws to function
properly. To keep all people in line and convince them to work for a more
significant cause than their own survival, a set of rules needs to be put in

We all know that humans are difficult to be
controlled by nature and that they will become a precious resource when things
fall apart. A leader is needed to organize the community and “exploit” the
skills of its members to everyone’s gain.

A good leader needs to be a neutral
listener, a delegator, and a motivational (inspirational, if you will) speaker.
Leaders need to be understanding and responsible when dealing with the members
of a community, but they also have to be decisive if people don’t follow the
rules. A good leader will never work alone, and he or she will need to organize
a democratic system where people can speak and take action when required.


There might be the need to mention
professions in the security role or those that can manufacture or repair clothes
or shoes. However, we can all improvise or repair clothing and shoes if needed,
and these items will be easy to scavenge for since people will have other
priorities. On the security part, many preppers have a military or law
enforcement background, so we can speculate that this profession will be
covered in most survival groups.

The post-SHTF professions listed in this article may very well become the main trades needed to rebuild a broken society. They will stand the test of time and turmoil no matter what, and they will be needed by every survival community that plans for long-term survival, but also prosperity, in a harsh environment. If you happen to have one of these professions, there will always be a place reserved for you in a survival group, and you will become a valuable asset in any community.

This content was originally published here.

This is a guest post by Gar Mosey.

I have never seen this seriously overlooked issue addressed on any survival/prepping site, so I decided to write this article about Cats When SHTF, complete with my warped sense of humor thrown in for free. With government overreach rampant and unwarranted panic over the Corona Virus, now is definitely the time to let the cat out of the bag. (Pun intended) Throw in BLM and ANTIFA and the s*** could hit the fan for real…very soon.

I have only seen articles on how to prepare supplies for your cat/dog before SHTF, nothing like what follows. 

Worst Case Scenario – True SHTF

Imagine a worst case scenario: COVID-19 infections have disrupted the food chain to the point of shortages. BLM/ANTIFA animals are running a muck, raping, killing, looting. The power grid has been down for months. It doesn’t matter whether this was caused by an EMP, WW3, sabotage/direct attack on power distribution stations, online cyber attacks or collapse of the world economy due to COVID-19. Society has broken down. Anarchy reigns in most areas. The power is out and is not coming back on for months, maybe years…possibly never in some areas.

People are starving. No electricity, sewer, water, gas, etc. Filth, pollution and disease abound. Idiots poured out of the cities in droves to “live off the land” with no survival knowledge. Lakes and rivers were fished out in mere months. They blasted anything that moved to obtain food. They only succeed in hunting every imaginable species that could be eaten – including humans in some areas – to the point of extinction. What they killed was mostly wasted. Untrained urbanites can’t properly skin, prepare and preserve wild game, whether it’s rabbit, squirrel, birds, or something larger. Most starved to death in a year, died of disease or were eaten by cannibals.

Further Reading: FREE PDF – Rabbit Processing

Those who remained in the cities and suburbs fared far worse. Many were killed by roving bands of raiders looking for food, water, drugs, liquor, women, gasoline, etc. Women often were kidnapped and used as sex slaves, slave labor, bartering items. Water and waste disposal facilities ceased to function. General chaos, disease and mayhem reigned supreme. Guess what happened next? Rats, rats and more rats. Millions, billions, maybe trillions of rats. In one year 1 female can have 2000+ babies. Do the math.

Mistakes Will Be Made 

Naturally, the surviving urbanites turned to eating their family pets when food ran low. Some even consumed their obnoxious neighbors. Dogs, cats, rabbits (which, BTW, are an excellent renewable source of food if you are set up to raise them), even Crazy Joe’s 8′ python was fair game. Consuming felines to the brink of extinction was actually the stupidest thing they could have done. DO NOT EAT THE CATS! I repeat: DO NOT EAT THE CATS WHEN SHTF!!!!!

Cats are ecologically far more important than most people realize. They are super-predators, although small in stature compared to others. Behind the scenes, they control rabbit, bird, mouse and rat populations, to the dismay of uninformed bleeding-heart idiots who see only the killing aspect. “Oh, the poor birdie! Look what the bad kitty did.” Yea, right. Google MacQuarie Island to find out what happened when some bright boys decided to remove all the cats because they were eating the pretty birdies. Idiots! (Start chant now: “Orange kitty bad. Must be removed.” LOL) Also check out Operation Cat Drop in Borneo during the 50s where the WHO managed to screw up the natural order of things. Yes, that WHO. The ones involved in the Corona farce. If you don’t understand the inter-relationship of ecosystems, don’t mess with it!


You Need Cats When SHTF

Without free roaming cats controlling the rodent population in the cities, you can bet yer ass humans won’t last long. Rats, birds, insect pests and rabbits will eat what meager crops are grown. Rats will quickly over-run the area, spreading disease and devouring everything in sight. Good-by humans! I hope that cat stew is worth it. I guarantee you will regret that dinner.

The lesson: In a worst-case scenario, under no circumstances should you eat cats. (Although I have heard they are good oven-baked with BBQ sauce. Heehee) No matter how hungry and tempted you are, don’t do it. I doubt if anyone will have enough sense to follow my advice when their family has not eaten for a week, but believe me, the surviving humans will pay dearly for your ignorance .

Besides, if you eat the Cats When the SHTF, you will miss their cuteness, comforting purrs and company…right up to the time rabid rats feast on your rotting flesh or your ravenous wife thinks you are worth more as dinner than a partner/provider.

Feel free to contact me with your comments and/or ideas for future articles (I would like to stick with little-known or never before published stuff, no over-done mainstream topics.)

Guest Author: Gar Mosey –

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This content was originally published here.