An Outsiders View on Prepping – Things Nobody Talks About

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Roy who much to my amazement, said he composed this article entirely on his iPhone!


In studying everything I can out there, I have noticed a few things that a lot of preppers have not thought about or don’t mention enough. If a major SHTF situation occurs we won’t just be set back a hundred years, we will be set back to a time when basic trade of staple foods and other crucial items will be gone for many years. We also might want to rethink a few things we want to acquire for one reason or another. Here is a list everyone might want to think about.


Do we really want to invest in HAM or CB radio? Even short distance communications? The easiest way for our enemy to find us is by triangulating our position. That mean it puts us and our families at risk every time we break radio silence. We might have a list of reasons we need them for communication and security. I say base your use of radios on what type of situation exists. If it is a natural disaster, like a tornado, sure use them. If I knew it was a situation where the government was coming after your guns or foreign troops were on American soil, You might have to forget about using it for communication.

Note: You can use it to monitor and get news from other people broadcasting, but don’t touch that com switch.


Tattler Canning lids are reusable and will last long after the stores are closed.

Now I have seen where salt as a staple has been mentioned and that is great. But what if you didn’t store enough? if you live inland even 20 or 30 miles from a source of saltwater how are you going to get restocked. I know there are salt domes and other natural sources for salt, but who knows where they are located? If you don’t have salt how do you prep your meat or animal hides. How do you season your food? So put it on your list as an item to get large quantities of for multiple uses. I would suggest getting salt from your local feed and seed that is used for cattle. It is cheaper per pound and it can be used for non food projects. Some people say it is totally edible so use your own judgement.

Canning Lids

Unless I have missed it, no one had addressed the issue of mason jar lids that are not reusable. If all you have, after the first few years, is spent lids you are going to have trouble canning anything. You can have the prettiest garden in the world and it won’t do you a bit of good if you can’t store it. You have to realize that even great grandmas could go to the general store and buy certain things. The difference will be that you will not have that option. How long? Only God knows.


It will take years before alcohol and other simple germ killing solutions can be made. I hear stories of people using it for cleaning and disinfecting, but you better keep it on hand for wounds and cuts. It should only be used to disinfect for surgical purposes. I would hate for someone to die from a cut on the arm because the alcohol was used to clean a counter-top.

Read More: Medicine to stock up on for when there is no doctor.

Borax, Baking soda and soap

400W panel system and a few Deep Cycle Batteries can provide a lot of power in an emergency situation for providing light, electricity to run refrigerators and small appliances.

We can use these products for all our cleaning needs. That’s great but how could you possibly know how long it would last, unless we use it now for those needs. Again it might be a while before it is produced so never say you have enough.

Solar power

The good with the bad. Have you ever been in complete darkness? If you have, you know that spotting light in the distance is so easy. If you have solar power and you are living off grid be mindful that a lit up house might put you in danger. If you stick out like a thumb you attract attention. Someone might decide they want what you have. I suggest having an after SHTF dark shielded room or rooms that allow you to use you lights without being in danger. For the first few years I would also suggest that you stay away from your power tools. It is easy to hear noise in a quiet world. I would also suggest that you hide your panels as much as you can. You want the sun to see them but not your possible enemy’s. I would also suggest that you have a safe place to store your panels during storms.

There is always a positive side to solar energy other than the obvious. Mental well-being is crucial to moral. Many people who are so attached to the grid will become depressed. Having the simplest creature comforts to keep your family going will be key.

Cell phone

How many times have I seen people include cell phones as part of a bug out bag. Yes they can have a library of survival books and saved articles. Compass and navigation apps to use. Creature comforts to improve moral. But is it worth the risk in a major SHTF situation. I say no. Weather you want to believe it or not, you are being watched. If you are deemed a threat because you had the audacity to prepare, you are a target. Your phone has a GPS chip in it and they have your number. Please don’t risk your life and use your phone for anything. A drone can lock in on you in a heartbeat. I hope it never comes to this but if it does and you foolishly hang on to idea that it can be used for your benefit, your wrong.

Revisit everything on your list

I would say it would be a good idea to revisit every item we have on our list and ask a simple question, “How long will it be till I can replace this item? “. Some things we can grow and make but other things could have to last a decade or more. Remember that we won’t have a store to go to for a long time. Society will always rebuild and people who survive will go into producing goods and services again but that will take time.

If anyone has links to answer any of the questions I have brought up please send them our for everyone to learn.


  1. Bolofia

    November 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm


    You’ve posted some very good thoughts from outside the box. Well done!
    Regarding radio comms, handheld units (especially FRS/GMRS frequencies) typically have much shorter broadcast range than HAM base stations. Even so, it could be foolish to spend much time communicating on handheld or mobile units if you are stationary and sitting at relatively high elevations. Some handheld units can reach 20 or more miles with properly tuned antennas, while mobile units will have a reach that may exceed 50 miles. If you have to talk, keep it short and talk in code.

    There is a model of Uniden FRS/GMRS radio (GMR1595-2CK) that scrambles voice comms, but it is no longer manufactured. (Uniden actually got in trouble for selling these units in the US some years back.) You might be able to pick up a few of them on HAM internet sites and/or Amazon. Voice traffic is completely unintelligible, although the effective range is no better than your typical peanut radio. Another alternative is to acquire radios with built in encryption, although they are pricey.

    In a full blown SHTF situation I doubt there will be very many aircraft aloft conducting DF operations, but it is still best to practice communications security.

    • Bolofia

      November 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      I should amend the above statement by saying that “voice traffic is completely unintelligible” to anyone who doesn’t have this model of radio. That feature gives you completely privacy if you happen to be operating in an area (such as a highway) where other people may be listening in.

      • EgbertThrockmorton1

        November 28, 2015 at 10:40 pm

        Please do an article for us on this very item!!!
        Makes perfect sense, I know of a vendor that sells encrypted radio hand held for law enforcement, ( good friends with them) we need all the help we can get!!

        • Bolofia

          November 29, 2015 at 8:26 am

          I’m not sure it justifies a full-blown article, but here is some good news: Uniden still manufactures this version of radio under a slightly altered model name. It is now called the GMR 1595-2CK EcoTerra. As far as I can tell, the specifications (including voice scramble) are identical to the older units that I have. You can find links on the Internet, but CNET.com is a good source. This model still uses nickle-metal-hydride batteries, so you will only get about 12 hours of use before recharging becomes necessary. I always carry an extra supply of batteries for these radios when in the field, but I rely primarily on other radios that are programmable over a much greater ranges of frequencies.

          It’s important to emphasize that transmission range is only comparable to other walkie talkies and the antenna cannot be swapped out for one with higher gain (providing extended range). Even so, they will provide voice privacy. if/when you need it.

    • Veritas

      December 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      I have to disagree with the article around the comms portion. It comes off as an attempt to find an excuse not to get your ham ticket and spend the time learning the equipment.
      First you had to use one specific example (a Red Dawn scenario) to make the case for why using radios would be bad, almost all other disasters don’t apply (even a solar flare or EMP is a bad example because Faraday cages are so cheap and easy to make). But let’s go with your example, there are a ton of ways to mitigate the issue of being located off your transmission (as mentioned there are lots of ways to disguise the meaning of your conversation by talking in code etc., though illegal under FCC rules as the world stands today, so I won’t go into this aspect).
      One obvious method is to not transmit from where you live, hike out a ways and as Bolofia mentioned, keep it short. Having set but not predictable comms windows with the party you are trying to reach helps.
      Second use the lowest power setting possible to get the job done. If a patrol needs to talk back to base they could get by on a watt, maybe less with good antennas (Also think digital, it’s soooo much more efficient than voice on the bandwidth). A bad guy would have to be relatively close to pick up on that unless they are dedicating significant assets (air platforms, vehicle mounted sensors, etc.) and you’re just not that important.
      Lastly use transmission modes like NVIS which, while not impossible, is very difficult to direction find and allows you to talk out to 375 or so miles on very little power. I like that you made people think about all the above considerations but whatever you do don’t discount one of the most important parts of “Shoot, move, and communicate” because it has some potential downsides in some situations, it would be like saying I’m not going to buy any guns for self-defense because there could be a gun ban.
      And one other comment, you are spot on about how useful these radios are for listening but I would argue without transmitting on them now you’ll never fully learn how to use them and that includes improving your ability to listen only.

      • Bolofia

        December 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        Veritas: Well said! I hope I didn’t give the impression that I’m against using radios for communication (I have 8 radios of varying types, a large supply of batteries and access to several repeaters). In any natural disaster or full blown SHTF situation, they could very well be life savers for you, your family or group. The key, as you clearly state, is to use common sense to maintain security.

        • Veritas

          December 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm

          No sir, I was responding to the article as a whole. Sorry, I just saw it came in as a reply to your comments! I think you were right on with several of your comments.
          Definitely food for thought and it got me thinking so great article! Outside of the comms portion I agree whole heartedly with the statement about salt, and not just salt but ionized salt. It’s crazy to think you could end up dying even being well fed on wild game and fresh veggies without it!

  2. To the Right of Attila the Hun

    November 28, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    One thing that I’ve used but never seen mentioned is ”kevlar gloves”. Amazon has them at a very reasonable price. (They are sized a bit small).
    NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves..I started using them After I had slipped with a butcher knife and cut myself to the bone. And yes it did hurt. I was cutting up Salmon and so then I was in danger of “Fish Poisoning” which can be life threatening. So after a $200.00 trip to a “Doc in a Box” it upped the cost of my smoked salmon a bit.
    In a long term Grid Down situation we will be doing a lot of cutting tasks that will increase the likely hood of dangerous cuts and these gloves will drop the chances of a serious cut to almost nothing.

    • JJ

      November 29, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Please, all get serious about obtaining different types of fish antibiotics from Thomas Labs (or elsewhere). Mine are kept in the freezer.
      Just ordered more amoxicillin and Keflex.

      • Kayla

        December 2, 2015 at 11:45 am

        This is one thing I’ve wondered about, where to buy legitimate antibiotics to have stored just in case?

        • MAS01

          December 2, 2015 at 1:39 pm

          Camping Survival online sells fish antibiotics. While the bottles state “Not For Human Consumption”, it is the same product, produced in the same factories, as antibiotics you get prescriptions for. I purchased a bottle of 100 Amoxicillin 500mg for less than $30. It has a good through date until 2018.

        • MAS01

          December 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm

          Fish antibiotics are safe for human consumption; however, the manufacturers have to say they are not intended for humans as humans require a prescription. They are made in the same factories, by the same manufacturers. If you look up an online pill guide, they are exactly the same.

        • Laurie Long

          December 2, 2015 at 2:28 pm

          They are ALL safe for humans, as long as you are not allergic! In regards to the reply above…Im not sure of your medical degree, but I assure you, antibiotics are NOT manufactured in 2 week cycles! They last for YEARS! if taken care of as listed! Please for your families’ sake keep these stocked!

    • MAS01

      December 2, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Were you cutting away from you or toward you?

  3. freebird4533@yahoo.com

    November 28, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I’d rather be dead than live in the world you describe.

    • Sniper

      November 28, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      Ok, someone will be by to pick up your stuff. count on it.

    • JJ

      November 29, 2015 at 11:51 am

      As I responded to a neighbor with this statement–“You will be”!!

    • Bolofia

      November 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Please post the date and location of your garage sale. I’m always looking for bargains.

    • CHinOhio

      December 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      If not prepared for whatever may come, you can count on having your wish granted.

  4. michael r.

    November 29, 2015 at 5:00 am

    You went way to far with this. The idea that you won’t be able to use your cell phone because you are being tracked verges on mental illness. Paranoid Schizophrenia or something like that.

    • BobW

      December 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      It seems your knowledge might need some updating. Its not that you can’t use it, he’s saying you shouldn’t use it.

    • Kayla

      December 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

      I suggest you read The Survivalist Series by A. American, book one alone you will see what he’s talking about as precaution. Continue you through the series and you’ll think holy crap he was right!

    • Bolofia

      December 2, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      A Solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) or EMP strike would seriously degrade the capacity of the telecommunications infrastructure. Assuming that even a significant portion of the infrastructure survived the initial effects of E1-E3, a loss of electrical power would take down the bulk of the voice/data network within 4-72 hours as backup diesel generators ran out of fuel. The likelihood that Big Brother will be monitoring your phone calls during the weeks following a telecommunications collapse is probably negligible. They will not even be able to communicate with each other.

      Having said that, there is no reason to compare someone’s lack of technical knowledge with mental illness, especially when our government has practiced espionage against its citizens for decades.

  5. keebler

    November 29, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Thanks–I definitely see the points of this.it might be over the top for some “BUT” some survivalist already think in these ideas “They” might outlast others who are NOT using “Opsec” to it’s fullest extent.

  6. Huples

    November 29, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Good stuff. The cellphone is pointless for sthf but good for a minor thing. Why people carry them and small solar panels for a major event puzzles me. Weight equals time so why cart that? Books made of paper are essential.

    One thing along the lines of the article is a garden. I’d planned a rapid upscale of mine. That won’t happen now until after the first Winter. I’m storing more food and planting in abandon areas all around me instead. Potatoes and aramantha mainly in small amounts in multi locations. Huge target having a garden in the immediate aftermath.

    The solar lighting is important and I’m not convinced it should be used at all. Up at dawn and bed at dusk seems a better plan. Use the solar power for heating and reading e books if functional (always have stuff in hard copy).

    The communications advice is sound. Police, fire, ambulance and others can track you and they might not be nice in a big sthf event.

    It is also important to look as starved as everyone else and to deal with trash very carefully. Three square meals become one circular meal for a while

    • CHinOhio

      December 2, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      If we are forced to “bug in” for some reason, we have a whole house generator that we can use for many months, as long as our propane supply doesn’t get too low. And in a SHTF situation, ours would only be used for as little time as needed, during daylight hours. If you need light at night, flashlights, candles, anything would be preferable to lighting up your location.

  7. gary

    November 29, 2015 at 10:34 am

    While I agree with most of your statements One of the “mistakes” a lot of preppers make is going all in for a specific event or going all in for total upheaval of society and leaving out scenario’s that are still dire but less severe (and far more likely). a cell phone or ham radio may or may not work but in anything but a complete teotwawki situation could be invaluable/lifesaving. As a matter of fact IF your cell phone was working that GPS tracking could very well be what saves your butt.
    As an example of other items that Most people don’t think of that I carry is a roll of quarters, there are dire situations where the power may not be out and while I could attack a vending machine with a machete or blast it with a 12 gauge pumping 4 quarters into it might be less of an attention getter.
    I have learned a lot about the partial long term upheaval of society reading about the events that have happened in Argentina. It is very eye opening.

  8. JJ

    November 29, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I like to read articles like these to use as inventory ….so far, check, check, check all the way!!!
    Don’t forget, lids used for sealing dehydrated foods in mason jars can be used for canning; the rubber has not been compromised.

  9. Montana Rancher

    November 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    It doesn’t make sense to me, we are living in a world 100 years in the past but somehow people are triangulating my comms and drone striking a useless phone?

    1. Short range radios are a force multiplier
    2. Solar isn’t just about lights, think big like freezers, refrigerators, well pumps, recharging batteries, clorine generators, computers and printers for propaganda, and even entertainment.
    3. Who the hell cleans their countertops with alcohol?

    Most everything else you mentioned is prepping 101, I’ll assume you haven’t been doing this long, but at least you are thinking about it. Below is a good starting point for some light reading.


  10. stew pedaso

    November 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Salt lick blocks

  11. The Wiseman

    November 29, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Some great stuff not other where mentioned. May I add a coupla?
    About seeing even a small light in pitch darkness – Yes! Use black garbage bags and duct tape them over the inside of your windows. Be sure to go outside and go all around the house to see if you can view even the smallest speck of light.
    If you’re using propane lanterns for light and propane heaters for warmth, remember that you’ve gotta leave two windows cracked open an inch or two for cross-ventilation or you’re gonna DIE OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING! Somehow, you’ve gotta shield that small opening from showing any light!
    Not only light can be seen for miles, but also, cooking smells! Until things settle down (three or four days after SHTF the unprepared will be either toast, or out of the area seeking food), you should be eating cold foods so as to not emit smells. Ditto your garbage – wait until dark and then hide it away from your house! I have a dozen clean 55 gallon oil drums w/lids, covered with a camo tarp, placed in the forest away from my house for garbage storage. (wash & flatten cans; fold paper, pack it down – remember – there won’t be a garbage pickup for years…)
    If you hear a helicopter overhead, SHUT DOWN YOUR STOVE ASAP! They’re probably using a heat-seeking meter to locate people. Also, super-sensitive microphones and a video camera. Be quiet, no smoke, when they’re overhead!

    • Bolofia

      November 29, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Thermal imaging cameras used by Border Patrol aircraft can pick up the heat signature of an engine block from a distance of seven or more miles – even if the engine was shut down two or three hours earlier. Body heat can be detected at even greater distances. That is one reason why smuggling groups can be located even though the aircraft are too far away to be seen or heard.

      Shutting down a stove because you happen to hear a helicopter overhead is not going to gain you anything. I’ve used thermal cameras that can pick up the heat signature of jet engines that were more than 50 miles away. In a SHTF situation, law enforcement agencies (federal or otherwise) will not be flying over everyone’s house to see who is cooking. If anything, they will be flying surveillance over areas where there is rioting. That is, until there is no more fuel.

  12. Bobcat Prepper

    November 29, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Canning lids should not be too much trouble, if already stocked. I have used my lids dozens of times each, with no degradation in sterility/sealing ability. Of course, you need a few dozen extra for scratching, denting or rusting which can happen over time.

    • Pat Henry

      November 30, 2015 at 8:53 am

      I have often wondered about that but never tried it myself out of fear of ruining so much food preserved by a decent amount of work. Has anyone else reused their canning lids?


      • To the Right of Attila the Hun

        December 1, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        We have been re-using canning lids for at least 4 years. The rubber that is used today in the lids is far different than in the past. The canning lid instructions from Ball tell you not to boil the lids before use.

        When you remove lids that you intend to re-use be careful that you do not dent the lid or rim. You may have to find an old bottle opener in order to accomplish this. We have had only one or two fail to seal. Try it out on something as simple as water to see if they seal. Experiment with a couple of jars of anything you are canning until you become confident that this will work for you. Just mark the lids that you are using for your test.

    • Kayla

      December 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

  13. GardenNut

    November 30, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I disagree with the soap and the antiseptic.

    Soap is quite possible to make if you have access to fat, wood, and water. You need wood to make ash, and then slowly leach water through the ash to extract lye. Meanwhile, take any fatty animal that you’ve killed, harvest and render the fat to produce tallow (if it’s a cow or sheep), lard (if a pig), etc. You can practice making soap from it’s currently accessible ingredients. Caution is called for while handling the lye, but I would argue that it is no different from the respect and caution needed for handling a firearm.

    Similarly, antiseptic for simple cuts, scrapes, and the like is very easy to make out of oil, beeswax, and yarrow. White yarrow grows prolifically in a wide range of zones and is possible to harvest from spring through summer and in some places into autumn. A salve made from 8 parts oil, 1 part beeswax, and as many dried yarrow leaves and flowers as will be coated in the pan makes a wonderful healing salve (gently heat for 20 minutes, then strain). The end result is antibacterial, analgesic, and anti-styptic. Oil and beeswax are harder to make but still possible. And hey, every option counts.

    • Pat Henry

      December 1, 2015 at 8:01 am

      I agree that making soap and antiseptic is possible, but it sure isn’t simple and it isn’t cheaper than stocking up on a few dozen bars of Ivory and some antibiotics. For the majority of people just looking for some preparedness tips and who might not be ready to start raising bees or standing out in the backyard straining water through ash, stocking up is a decent alternative.

      Now, long-term I think you are absolutely correct. Those skills will be extremely valuable, but I would argue that it is better for most to stock up now and be prepared to go a different route in dire cases.

      • GardenNut

        December 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm

        True enough! I forget sometimes that what I do looks crazy to new people. 😀

      • Jeremy Jones

        December 1, 2015 at 6:16 pm

        I use http://www.certified-lye.com/ to get my lye for soap making. Its cheap and they have a calculator and recipes from emu to canola and beyond for making soap

      • John

        December 6, 2015 at 2:02 pm

        My issue is…why not do both. I absolutely plan on stocking up on antibiotics, antiseptics, alcohol (both ethanol and methanol).
        My wife and I are also planning to build a still. So long as we stay under the limit (which is over 100 gallons a year) it’s perfectly fine. After Schumer, there won’t be a limit, so it’s all good either way. 100 gallons a year will see you through for a bit.

        • Pat Henry

          December 7, 2015 at 11:07 am

          If you can swing both, I wholeheartedly agree with you that would be better long-term.

          I know personally, I don’t have the time or money to raise bees anymore. 3 years of them dying on me (probably because my neighbor never met a can of roundup he didn’t like) as well as the frequency of checking on them and maintenance (not sure how many tons of sugar I converted to sugar water for them) was a little too much for someone who isn’t retired.

          Making my own soap would be the same thing. I know it is possible but right now it isn’t practical to do that right now so I choose to stock up on the items above. I have also looked into purchasing the parts to make a still, but again, that is a hobby that will take some time I would imagine. Of course, that is also another great barter potential too.

          • John

            December 7, 2015 at 11:18 am

            You have some great points. On the other hand, a lot of things you can make in a still without a source of honey. They do take some time however, so you have a great point.
            That being said, all skills take some time to develop. That’s why we prep of course.

    • Jeremy Jones

      December 1, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Alcohol is no biggie either, you can set a barrel and make 10-15 gallons in less than a week.

  14. Kayla

    December 2, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    My worry was on Mason jar kids too. I worry about stocking up on all this stuff and doubles of other stuff I need, cut if an EMP hits and we need to get out of the city how we would manage to carry everything with two adults and 4 smaller kids. I at least found an answer to the canning kids and will be buying a handful of these packs.

    Also, azurestandard.com GREAT way to stock up on items in bulk. I made my list and they have everything! Dry goods including ostmeal, dried fruits and veggies, rice, salt and seasoning, nuts and more. Stock up on your big buckets and fill it up.

    Tattler Reusable Regular Size Canning Lids https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051PDXCQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_RZXxwbNB4WEDY

  15. Grey kepi

    December 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Reusable canning lids are available from Tattler. reusablecanninglids.com Have used them for years with no problems

  16. Kayla

    December 2, 2015 at 11:52 am

    A question I have, what kind of maps should one use for their area to find areas to move to if needed? Topographical? What is a good place to purchase? I have been looking but don’t want to spend on something if I’m not completely sure it’s what we need.

    • Diane_N_CA

      December 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      @Kayla: I suggest two basic maps for your area. Topographical, and a good street map. You may want a street map of your county as well of your state. Another good map to have is an aviation map. Maps may be purchased from Forest Service stations, backpacking shops, the USGS, AAA, and you can get the aviation maps from Sporty’s. The aviation maps show much more than other maps: places were high towers are, topo info, building info, and other land marks. Forest service maps show private property vs forest service property.

      The more you study the area where you live and the surroundings with different maps the better.

      I advocate learning how to use a map and compass. It is a lost art in these days with GPS, but I can save your live if you know how.

    • Bolofia

      December 2, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Here are two useful sources for maps:


      You can also check outdoor outfitter stores in your area.

      Depending on where you live and your desired destination, BLM maps may be more useful than USGS Quad sheets. Understand, however, that printed maps may not show recent development and/or newly added highways and roads. It is beneficial to supplement your map knowledge by studying satellite imagery of the area using Google Earth. This will enable you to examine a desired route using imagery that is generally not more than one or two years old. Satellite imagery will show you individual buildings, foot trails, etc. Topo maps don’t provide this level of information.

      • Huples

        December 2, 2015 at 5:58 pm

        Totally agree. Google is awesome for spotting small forest trails and water sources. Spend the cash and print them out in advance for your entire bug out routes. I’d also add a decent cycle map if your home or work is urban. I keep that with my edc bag when at work

        • John

          December 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm

          Yep! Doing this for the immediate 10 mile radius around my house this week! Great minds.

  17. CHinOhio

    December 2, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    They are not writing only for advanced prepping people. Articles like this are geared to make people think.

  18. Bill M

    December 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I have Solved the Problem (Your Item 1) of Comms being detected, tracked, and trianglulated. It wasn’t hard, nor expensive. I built 5 ULF (ultra low frequency) CW (continuous wave) Transmitters (Not Receivers). They send out a 5 watt (input to final) signal which is received over 25 miles. This unit transmits ONLY a rough, grainy (buzz) carrier which is controlled by a “Morse Code” key. No Voice. We can use ANY low band SW (short wave) receiver (we have 7 different models) to pick up the signal. We use std. Morse Code at 5 wpm – Anyone can learn it in 15 minutes. This type of signal ULF/ RF CANNOT BE TRACKED – Even if you Never Stop Transmitting. I love to frustrate govt. types. I built All 5 for about $ 50 and 12 – 16 hours. Easy. Trx Antenna is a “long wire”, just don’t let it be seen. Bill in Idaho

    • Bolofia

      December 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Great idea, but I’ve never attempt to fabricate the electronics that would make such a system work. Where can I go to obtain the necessary component and build information? There is a huge scope of usefulness for this approach, especially if it doesn’t require much electrical power to operate.

  19. Bill M

    December 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Also, One Other Item. Many of your readers are Going on and on about having “Antibiotics” “On hand” . . . Please, Just Remember two things about Antibiotics: 1. If you take them (in any amount) you Will Kill off Any and ALL of the Essential Pro-Biotics in your Duodenum (which is 75% of your Auto-Immune System)! and 2. All Antibiotics have a Very Short Shelf Life – say about 2 weeks. Good Luck. Bill in Idaho

  20. jaxx

    December 4, 2015 at 1:07 am

    I am afraid that in a SHTF situation I’ll be one of the first to go. As a diabetic, where am I going to get insulin? It’s prohibitally expensive for me to stock up on. Also, as a chonic pain patient, I depend on a implant that a uses narcotic pain meds to keep me physically functional. once that bad boy runs out I will be worse than useless detoxing.The first part is the worst, dying from high blood sugar is a slow, agonizing process. The second just makes you want to die you are so sick. Ideas anyone? besides shooting myself?

    • Pat Henry

      December 5, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Thank you for your comments Jaxx. Being in your situation and facing some life changing circumstance like SHTF must be concerning to say the least.

      The only ideas I know of is to get off insulin and your pain medication. If you are Type 1 diabetic this may not be possible although an extremely limited caloric intake has been shown to have some effects. I would look into that. For the chronic pain, there are many alternatives, but I don’t know your situation. I am also not a doctor, but if you are concerned about this possibility you owe it to yourself to do everything you can to survive.

      Shooting yourself is for when you give up and I don’t ever advocate that option.

      • jaxx

        December 6, 2015 at 1:33 am

        That last line about offing myself was just my poor attempt at humor. My thoughts are more along being on the immediate front line and going down guns blazing. But, that won’t work if the SHTF is nature related. But, I thank you for the suggesstions

  21. Kaspar_Goering

    December 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    “Prepping” is nothing more than a modern day practice of “working” for salvation. By hoarding food and supplies people shew their “worthiness” to their god. The more you hoard, the “better” you are. However, when will enough ever be enough? You won’t really know until the dreaded day actually comes when you will have to eat those canned potatoes you made yourself. And what are you trying to “survive?” If there is a national disaster as may so-called “preppers” are hoping for then what will there be to survive for?

    • John

      December 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Kasper you assume many things. First though, let’s set aside implied insults shall we? Excellent.
      1. For many, this isn’t about proving anything to anyone. It’s about keeping our famity clothed, fed, with a roof over their head, and safe. I would imagine that for almost anyone with a family can say that they wish these things for their family. Prepping is just a way do to that when there is no place to go get that other than what we provide for ourselves.
      2. Well this is a simple question that doesn’t have a simple answer. If I have 4 children, and my neighbor has 1 child, it is not sensible for me to have only the same amount of supplies (in terms of boxes, bottled water, etc) that my neighbor does. I have double the mouths to feed than they do, so I would need more.
      3. Well, obviously, trying to survive whatever situation has caused us to be self reliant. If it’s a tornado that has dropped a tree on the storm shelter door, an ice storm, or something more serious, surviving is always preferable than the alternative. Which wold be immediate or short term death.
      4. If you think any of us HOPE to have this happen in our lives, you don’t know anything about this community. I believe we will face a collapse of the society. I HOPE I am wrong, but I am not going to bet my safety and my family’s health on being wrong.
      5. What am I surviving for? Well aside from not desiring to die, obviously, is the hope to rebuild. I will always strive to rebuild.

      • Kaspar_Goering

        December 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm


        In America today, most people are more concerned about paying their bills this month instead of stocking up for the Apocalypse. It is only the people who think they are the “chosen” and have enough disposable income to build bomb shelters that are the driving force behind “prepping.”

        You may try to justify your irrational fears by claiming to do it for “the kids” but most rational people know that what preppers do is primarily an “ego” trip.

        • John

          December 6, 2015 at 3:50 pm

          1. Stop insulting people, myself included. I am better at it, and restrain myself. You will do the same.
          2. Actually my wife and I have about 75% of our income in bills. We just bought a property for our home, and this is a significant amount of our budget. We still prepare for schumer. So instead of making sensationalist claims about “only this or that” perhaps listening to someone who does prep and who isn’t in your preconceived box has to say will help you understand the sI tuition more.
          3. I don’t think I am chosen for anything in life but death. That is unavoidable. That doesn’t mean I am not going to do what I can for as long as I can, doing as much as possible in the time that I have. This is called good stewardship.
          4. What irrational fears? That society will possibly one day not be the same as it is now? Well, let’s look at history shall we? We can learn from the past since there is nothing new about the set of circumstances we are seeing.
          4a. Rome was the largest empire on earth for its time, the most technologically advanced on earth. It was the wealthiest, strongest, biggest, most liberty giving nation the world had ever seen. You know what? During the time when it was besieged by the Goths, right before the Western half fell permanently, you know what the citizens were doing? Attending the games, and trying to buy the dead gladiators for food. Yep, cannabalism. For the pillars of civilization…cannabalism en masse. I would rather prep than be forced to eat people.
          4b. The great depression. Yeah, this one is our own history. What happens if you get laid off. Or your parents if your under 18 or live at home. You can’t afford to buy food, because there is no income. What are you going to do? Well pick up and move is a great choice. Where are you going that is better? Well in the great depression, no where because it was nation wide. No where was “better” in the sense of no problems. If only they had been preparing for bad times. Oh wait a lot did. It’s why there wasn’t as much trouble with surviving outside of the big cities.
          5. Ego has so little to do with it that this is a point made to attempt attacking people to discredit them rather than help in any way.
          6. Yes, it is for my kids. Yes, it’s for me and my wife too, but I’d rather not give my children every toy possible so that when the times comes than we can’t go to the grocery store I can still put good food in their mouths. Maybe you’d rather the reverse, but I know where I stand, and it’s for my children.

          • Kaspar_Goering

            December 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm

            As i said, it’s an ego trip.

            Most of the residents of Ancient Rome were indentured servants. There were very few “working class” folks other than the occasional lucky fellow who may have had a benefactor.

            What saved America in the Great Depression was the New Deal of FDR. It was just enough socialism to save Capitalism from itself!

            That is the problem with America today. The trickle-down economics of Reagan have infected the American economy to the point where it is the wealthy who have all the money and none of it is getting to the working classes. This was accomplished primarily through the Labor Union movement in America. But the wealthy have destroyed labor unions and America is suffering the consequences of a greed based Capitalist society – just as Marx had predicted 150 years ago.

            America’s collapse started with the terrible economic policies of Reagan. and were almost destroyed by the “W” and his cronies. It will only be a return to true American Democratic values that America can be saved – not the German National Socialists of the Conservative Right.

            • John

              December 6, 2015 at 4:28 pm

              Alright boy, time for a history lesson.
              1. No Romans were nor indentured servants for the most part. They learned that lesson early on. If you were born in Rome, you were a Roman citizen unless born a slave. And slaves were not the majority, especially after the Spartacus Rebellion. So you’re just wrong.
              2. What saved America was getting back to work. What made that possible was that people prepared for hard times. So you’re wrong.
              3. You’re switching back and forth. You said no one preps but the wealthy. I pointed out I am not wealthy and prep. So you’re wrong.
              4. Unions were good when they started. They have become corrupt, I agree. But that wasn’t through business’s doing that to them. So you’re wrong.
              5. Marx was right that capitalism has issues. Of course, we lasted far longer than the Communism that Marx started, so you’re wrong.
              6. Considering that it’s the “conservatives” that are pushing for more jobs for the people we already have, rather than taking jobs away to give to people who just got here and dont know our way of life, that job creation does more for the working families than anything else. So you’re wrong.
              Rather than taking more real life understanding in the form of a verbal smack down son, why don’t you go kick your political propaganda idiocy elsewhere.

              • Kaspar_Goering

                December 6, 2015 at 4:37 pm

                Conservative policy does not create the jobs that Liberal Democratic policies can. And Mr. Obama has proved that with six straight years of economic growth. While not the double digits that Capitalists demand, it has been the Liberal Democratic policies that have prevented another Great Depression.

                What saddens me is that most conservatives in America are of the “prepper” mindset. They have “given up” on the idea of America. And what this has produced is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The SHTF scenario you dream of is nothing more than the “cleansing” that is necessary for the “real” conservatives to take over. Just as the Jews needed to be eliminated for the “superman” race to take over, so will the Conservatives in America. Donald Trump proves that with every statement he makes. There is a reason why he is so popular among the conservative “prepper” religious right in America.

              • John

                December 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm

                You’re just FOS. Can we get someone to delete this guy for the betterment of the Journal and it’s reap discussion? I hate to litter and this is just trash.

              • Kaspar_Goering

                December 6, 2015 at 5:34 pm

                You are still in the Matrix. It’s time to take the red pill.

              • John

                December 6, 2015 at 5:38 pm

                I’d rather not take suspect pills. They tend to be bad for you. Dope you up and screw you over. I hear the red variety is the worst.

              • Kaspar_Goering

                December 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm

                You have proven to be a better person. I respect your attempt at jocularity. However, the truth concerning the economic conditions our country has suffered has been the direct result of 30+ years of Reaganomics. If you are not afraid, then this little video will explain:


              • Pat Henry

                December 7, 2015 at 11:16 am

                I am just enjoying the back and forth here. I think it is fair to say Kaspar is to the very far left of our usual audience so I am curious as to how he came upon this site in the first place. If preppers have zero redeeming value, why would he be on a Prepping Site? I assume Kaspar relishes arguments like this and that’s perfectly fine. John, you have been a great sport at debating your side, but I fear Kaspar is a lost cause and is only trolling for fights.

                So Kaspar, I guess in the end we will all have to agree to disagree. Our prepping isn’t putting you out at all. I am sure there are things you do that I don’t agree with but I am not trying to browbeat you into stopping what you believe it.

                Time will tell who is right and if you are, I won’t lose a bit of sleep over it. However, if we are right, you might be wishing you would have practiced some of the lifestyle choices preppers do.

              • Kaspar_Goering

                December 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

                I have a “spam” mail account that I use to monitor right wing web sites for interesting information. I stumbled upon your site a while ago and got the email newsletters. I just enjoy showing the inherent contradictions within Conservative Right Wing thought. And one of the biggest is the so-called “prepper” movement.

                There was an interesting series of television shows on one of the major cable networks that really showed some terrible circumstances of certain preppers. There was one gentleman who purchased a full Medical trauma kit with the intention of performing surgical procedures if necessary. However, his bomb shelter was delivered to his property so he assisted in the setting of the structure. In the process, he fell and broke his arm. I was quite excited at this because I was looking forward to his wife setting his arm and doing the surgery to fix it.

                The man demanded to go to the hospital to have his arm treated.

                So then I realized that most so-called “preppers” are nothing more than Right Wing wackos who feel that their survival is more important than doing anything to improve the nation they live in.

              • Huples

                January 21, 2016 at 12:31 am

                As a Prepper I am about midrange. Six months food and two partially stocked bug out places if the main goes. My politics are very left wing. Politics have zero to do with being a Prepper. It’s about not wanting ever to be cold and hungry nor wishing to see your loved ones suffer.

                Doomsday Preppers I think the show was. Very funny one was when a guy shot his own thumb teaching his kids to murder people. The show is entertainment and in no way represents the Preppers I know.

                If a winter storm drops 20 feet of snow in one week on your house and the surrounding areas for miles and it stays below freezing and keeps snowing you would change your opinion of Preppers. My preps include books and equipment to give medical aid and education once all the dying is over.

  22. John

    December 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I liked the article, first and foremost. I was surprised that some of these conversational lacks were applicable to many people, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
    For “just getting in” preppers, if you will, I could see the use of a lot of these topics, and definitely of use for those who may or may not know about the power of triangulation of the airways.
    It is a bit of a quandry for me however. I admit, I have a lot of assumptions. For instance, that people understand the need to stock up things like salt. Salt is relatively cheap to acquire now, and is useful for so many things, that I tend to assume that people know to stock up on these things. I put alot of thought in, and assume that the average prepper does as well. Things like spices being beyond worth, but things like a Rolex being near useless.

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