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Thanks in advance for reading this thread.

I've been reading your fine website for about three weeks now. I've always had a bit of general prep (Mostly involving snagging my backpacking backpack), but I'm beginning to realize how more in-depth preparation is necessary.

Most importantly however, are the skill sets I need to develop, but that will be covered later.

To begin with, I'm seeking advice for what I feel are the 6 major scenarios any one person can experience. Some I'm personally immune to or are not applicable in my area.

Types of gear, what kind of gear, among other things, can be found in many other threads, and I'll try to keep this as general and concise as possible.


Scenarios:

Short-Term (Up to 30 days)
Disaster Types: Weather (Blizzard, Flood, Tornado, Light Civil Unrest)

Almost every citizen should be prepared for something like this, as they happen often.

At Home Plan: Shack up at home with enough food to get me by. Lock the doors, fire up the generator if necessary.

Bug-Out Plan: Vehicle, if Possible. Bug Out bag. Collect Immediate Family.

Medium-Term (1-6 Months)
Disaster Types: Extreme Climate Disaster, Non-Local Economic/Political Unrest

These type of situations will most likely evolve into a more serious scenario, but one can never tell.

At Home Plan: Deep Storage Food, Solar Array for Home Power, Use time to Prep for more serious needs.

Bug Out Plan: If I have to Bug Out, I'd most certainly use my Long-Term Plan.

Long-Term (1+ Years)
Disaster Types: Full Scale War, Political/Economic Breakdown, Permanent Climate Disasters, NBC Attacks

At Home Plan: Not Applicable. The density of my urban area precludes possibility for long term shacking in. Crime and looting would make it indefensible, and no area for livestock or crops.

Bug-Out Plan: Vehicle + Livestock Trailer. Trailer contains "Luxuries." Truck contains only bug-out bags, Hand Tools, Critical Books, Critical Food, Berkley Systems, and Family/Companions. Trailer has extended Food Storage, Extended Fuel.

This is the point where I'm asking for advice, as I'm pondering a few things in Long-Term Bugging Out:

1: Bartering. I have do not have the money to currently own livestock (nor the time to care for them.) Other than Shoeing Horses, I have basic levels of Animal care under my belt from growing up around my Grandfather's farm. It is my hope that I can stock Berkley Systems and Mini-Seed Vaults, and, should the need arise, I would trade these away in order to secure Horses, and, if possible, Cows and Chickens. Horses would be first priority. As I live in Colorado, Horses are in plentiful supply within 10 miles of my home. What do you think is the viability of this Bartering situation. In TEOTWAWKI events, Berkley systems and Seeds are worth their weight in Gold (In my opinion), and I would like to think that people would trade excess Livestock for bare necessities like Water and the ability to grow food.

The reason I think Horses are essential is that no matter what, Vehicles break down or run out of fuel. In TEOTWAWKI events, I can breed horses to last future generations. I can't fix a Truck / Scavenge for fuel for forever.

2: Defense: I see many people advocating a variety of weapons on this site, along with things like 2k excess 22 cal rounds, etc etc. In my own mind, these things also have a half life. In TEOTWAWKI events, once that ammunition is gone, you have a metal stick in your hand, and nothing more. It is certainly viable for "Threat of Force" events, but little more. Personally, my weapon of choice is 2 Fiberglass Bows with a healthy supply of arrows. These arrows will break over time, but they can be replaced with wooden arrows. These are "Legacy" weapons - can be handed down, and never run out (unless they break.) I'm certain I would have a rifle or two, but I would not rely on deep ammunition storage. Do you fellows agree? (And before you ask, I do know how to use a Bow - have Bow hunted for about 8 years. Not perfect, but adept.)

3: Power: Personally, I feel that it is foolhardy to rely on power in TEOTWAWKI events. Even the best deep storage batteries wouldn't last 20 years, and then you'd be up a creek. In my humble opinion, it would be better to abandon power entirely in Bug-Out long term disasters, and rely on skills and handtools.

4: Bug Out Land: I feel having Bug Out Land is foolhardy for my own part. A: It's unaffordable for me at this point. B: There is no guarantee that your bug out land will be safe when the time comes, and more often than not, the land that *is* purchasable, is ill-suited to be bug-out land (IE: You'll be surrounded by a great many people.) My current plan is to head north. Northern Wyoming seems ideal, and is close to me, but if possible, I think it would be beneficial to go further into Montana or even Canada. I'd think I'll discuss this in a different thread however.

5: Skills: This is a big one for me. I'm of the opinion that Skills > Supplies, and that Skill can get you 80% of the way towards what a Tool would have done for you. To that end though, there are a litany of skills I feel I need to get a basic understanding of, and many more that I'm not aware of. Are there skills that you feel are vital that I'm missing?

Listed in order of importance:

1: Purify / Filter water using Natural Means (Once Berkley is gone.)
2: Hunting, Trapping, Raising Livestock, Farming/Cropping
3: Create fire without Technology (Flint, Steel Wool, etc.)
4: Shelter
- Build Basic Shelter
- Mill Lumber using Hand-Tools (To create long term buildings)
- Create Natural Mortars (Adhesives for Buildings and Foundations.)
5: Basic Medical Care (Heimlich, CPR, Setting a Bone, Cleaning a Wound, Natural Treatments for basic ailments, Cold, Cough, Headache)
6: Leather (How to create leather from hide)
7: Smithing (How to recycle metal and create Heat Treated Metals - Mechanical Engineer, so I know the principles behind this, but would need to research how to make a forge, molds, among other things)
- Creating Grinding tools for sharpening would be key here, as well.

With those skills, I feel I could create a life for me and my companions to live comfortably. Ancillary luxuries I'd like to figure out

8: Building an Antenna / Long Range Radio
9: Medicine: This one boggles me. Many family members have ailments which need attention (Blood Pressure issues, etc.) Herbal remedies can only go so far. I'm not sure how to provide for them long term.
10: How to fashion Glass into lenses. This one is a key skill I need for my own and my families' survival. Poor eyesight plagues our family. Being able to fashion glasses would be necessary over time.
11: How to create natural lamp oils
12: How to create natural waxes (for candles)

Edit: Oh wow, almost forgot some critical things:

13: Food storage: Salting, Freezing, etc etc (All in natural environment)
14: Procuring Salt.

1-7 I know where and how to research. 8-14 I'm having severe difficulty in finding resources to learn these skills.

That about sums it up for me. If anyone has any planning advice, particularly with regards to long-term Bugging Out, Bartering for Livestock, Defense, the abandonment of power, and developing skillsets, I'd be much obliged.

Thank you again ladies and gentlemen for letting me post on your forums!
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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Start by reading the stickies at the top of this section. Then search for the topics you're interested in learning more about.

If you're really new to prepping--and given the detail you've given us I wonder--then start prepping for the short-term scenarios and build up to the longer ones.

And as far as your weapon of choice being a bow--well, more power to you. I hope you come up against others who are only armed with bows or less, should it come to that.

As well, if you find yourself allied with anyone trying to drive off an attack, I hope they're not too put out that all you have is a bow, from which defensive position you must almost completely reveal yourself to shoot it.

I think there is a place for a bow, but your concern about ammunition running out is not such a concern if you don't make it that far. And frankly, if you're in a place or scenario where 2000 rounds of ammunition is not enough, your bow and all the arrows you have is not going to amount to a hill of beans.

Finally, I think people who plan on trapping or hunting to feed themselves had better consider the likelihood that wild game will become very scarce. People tell stories of how, during the depression, game was virtually hunted out in many places. And today, there are far more people than there were back then.

There is at least one scenario where that won't happen--a dread disease wipes out 90 percent of the population within 3 weeks, say--but most scenarios seem to involve a longer, more arduous collapse, one resulting from economic dislocation (dollar collapse, hyperinflation, whatever).
 

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Green Eggs and Spam
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WOW!

You have been reading for three WHOLE weeks?


You don't yet have EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR questions answered?

Some of us here find that even simple questions have quirks to them and are not easily answered.

I suggest you do another three weeks of reading (especially the stickies).

Good Luck.
 

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2: Defense: I see many people advocating a variety of weapons on this site, along with things like 2k excess 22 cal rounds, etc etc. In my own mind, these things also have a half life. In TEOTWAWKI events, once that ammunition is gone, you have a metal stick in your hand, and nothing more. It is certainly viable for "Threat of Force" events, but little more. Personally, my weapon of choice is 2 Fiberglass Bows with a healthy supply of arrows. These arrows will break over time, but they can be replaced with wooden arrows. These are "Legacy" weapons - can be handed down, and never run out (unless they break.) I'm certain I would have a rifle or two, but I would not rely on deep ammunition storage. Do you fellows agree? (And before you ask, I do know how to use a Bow - have Bow hunted for about 8 years. Not perfect, but adept.)

3: Power: Personally, I feel that it is foolhardy to rely on power in TEOTWAWKI events. Even the best deep storage batteries wouldn't last 20 years, and then you'd be up a creek. In my humble opinion, it would be better to abandon power entirely in Bug-Out long term disasters, and rely on skills and handtools.
First, this is a great way to look at things. Short, intermediate and long term. All three have there own quirks you must worry about.

The two areas I kind of disagree with you are the defense and power. The reason I disagree is because I have no intention of going back to the stone age, and neither should you. There is enough ammo in this world that if they stopped making it now it would not run out in our life times. IMO the weapons will break before we run out of ammo, so learn to do minor repairs to weapons. Not knocking bows here we should all learn to use them, but there is no need to go all the way back to the middle ages, when you can go back to the early rifle days. Learn how to make black powder and lead bullets and get a black powder rifle that will last for ever, in addition to your bow and arrows. Also IF the day came where firearms are not around at all (or much) I would suggest melee weapons as no battle was ever won with JUST bows and arrows; get swords, spears and axes and know how to use them.

As for power. We have the technology so why run from it? You may not be able to plug into the wall, but you can certainly use solar power. If the panels all break you could build a wind turbine or hydro turbine with parts that are laying around. Learning that stuff will be very useful. I have the basic concepts down for a wind turbine and I think I could build one, or a hydro if you are close to a river.

Basically learn the very old school stuff with hand tools ect, but learn enough new school stuff to keep you out of the dark ages.
 

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Thanks in advance for reading this thread.

I've been reading your fine website for about three weeks now. I've always had a bit of general prep (Mostly involving snagging my backpacking backpack), but I'm beginning to realize how more in-depth preparation is necessary.
Welcome to the forum.

Most importantly however, are the skill sets I need to develop, but that will be covered later.
Skills are indeed crucial.
To begin with, I'm seeking advice for what I feel are the 6 major scenarios any one person can experience. Some I'm personally immune to or are not applicable in my area.

Types of gear, what kind of gear, among other things, can be found in many other threads, and I'll try to keep this as general and concise as possible.
Only 6?


Scenarios:

Short-Term (Up to 30 days)
Disaster Types: Weather (Blizzard, Flood, Tornado, Light Civil Unrest)

Almost every citizen should be prepared for something like this, as they happen often.

At Home Plan: Shack up at home with enough food to get me by. Lock the doors, fire up the generator if necessary.

Bug-Out Plan: Vehicle, if Possible. Bug Out bag. Collect Immediate Family.
I agree. Everyone should be ready for these sorts of things. I don't know how long you've lived in Colorado, or if you ever made it up to Montana, or Idaho, or anywhere up here, but winter storms can bury you. 6 feet is "normal" in certain places. Heck in some places 20 feet is normal.

To be ready for these things, I suggest just covering the basics. At a minimum:

- Extra food - For this type of disaster 1 week would suffice although IMO if you have only 1 week of spare food, you are not a prepper. A survivalist/prepper in my mind already has about 1 year of food set aside for bug in purposes and 3-4 months for bugging out. So 1 week would already be handled. This food should also be preserved and protected from rodents, water damage, and other sorts of decay.

- Extra Water - 1 gallon per person per day for 1 week. But like the food, if you only have 1 week, you are not a prepper. Again 3-4 month for bug out purposes, or better yet a source and method for procurement. Look into manual water filters.

- Heat - Forgotten by many. Electricity is NOT a source of heat. It is a death trap. Propane CAN BE a source of heat if it isn't too cold. If it is too cold, that too can fail. Wood burning is in my opinion the most sure method, but this is difficult in a city environment. Still, it is the best and most sure method of not freezing to death.

- Sewage - Be ready for frozen toilets or a small hiccup in the sewage line. 1 week without sewage and you'll know it. Have a bucket and hole at the least, or better yet a real plan. Composting toilets are nice.

- Bugging out - With something this short term, I would only bug out if I ran across a problem that I was not prepared for. However, if you have preps in place, bugging out shouldn't be necessary for this situation.

Some other considerations would be light, medical supplies, repair equipment for home problems, extra stand by fuel for a car, blankets, extra clothing (laundry will go with the water), and boredom busters just off the top of my head. Oh and Duct tape. You can't go wrong with duct tape.


Medium-Term (1-6 Months)
Disaster Types: Extreme Climate Disaster, Non-Local Economic/Political Unrest

These type of situations will most likely evolve into a more serious scenario, but one can never tell.

At Home Plan: Deep Storage Food, Solar Array for Home Power, Use time to Prep for more serious needs.

Bug Out Plan: If I have to Bug Out, I'd most certainly use my Long-Term Plan.
Personally I would just roll this either up or down. If it is something you can stay home for and be safe, then bug in. Bugging in is ALWAYS easier then bugging out. Bugging out should be a last resort in my opinion.

So again, I would either roll this down into a minor problem and stay put with my 3-4 months supply of food, or up into a large scale problem.

Long-Term (1+ Years)
Disaster Types: Full Scale War, Political/Economic Breakdown, Permanent Climate Disasters, NBC Attacks

At Home Plan: Not Applicable. The density of my urban area precludes possibility for long term shacking in. Crime and looting would make it indefensible, and no area for livestock or crops.
Stay home plan - none.

Not good. You need to have a good stay home plan and not depend on bugging out. Bugging out should occur if the nuke is already coming your way or the city is over run with Zombies. Bugging out is HARD. It isn't the ideal, "Let's go live off the land and hunt our food" hero BS. It would mean days of starvation on a regular basis. No friends. Poor shelter, and non-stop problems.

If I were you, I'd develop a stronger "stay home" plan as well as a bug out plan.

Example (Worst case scenario Urban living): Let's say you live in a 1 bedroom appt in the center of the city. Personally, I would DIE living that way, but I know many people have no choice. Gotta do the best we can. A plan for this situation could include:

1) Food storage. You can secretly hide away easily 1 year's worth of food. I have put out a thread where I counted out 270,000 calories (1 years worth), for less that $600, and it took up less than 48 cubic feet of space. Totally doable even in an appt AND if you have to bug out, you've lost very little money and energy. Yet if you want to bug in, it would be priceless.

2) water: Harder then food as it weighs a lot and takes up space. You could set up a rain water catcher as a source. If you are near a lake or stream, then a water filter would be your best friend. Water however, could be one of those bug out conditions. You can't last long without it. Stock pile what you are able. 2 liter pop bottles are popular. Sam's club sells 1 gallon containers with juice. These would be decent storage as well. Make sure you rotate every 6 weeks or so.

3) Protection: First off, this all depends on the situation. You can bug in a locked apartment unnoticed for a LOOOONG time given good conditions. Re-enforce the door jam with an 8 foot high piece of metal bolted into the frame. Practice light and noise discipline at all times. A shot gun at close range is unbeatable. Set up an alarm system. Walmart sells a magnetic battery powered alarm that makes a CRAZY racket. Simple things.

4) Sewage - See above. Find a bucket. Find a buddy. Have the buddy cover you. :)

5) heat - See above again.

6) Other misc: Medical supplies, tools, repair equipment, clothing, batteries, radio, flashlights, 550 cord, Duct tape, PPE (Personal protective gear: IE surgical gloves, dust mask, eye glasses, etc), bleach, soap and other disinfectants, CASH, spare fuel for cars, books, games, candles, miscellaneous tools, . . . you get the idea.

One thing you could do to figure out what you need is to do a dry run. Don't use electricity or water for 2 days. Learn what you miss.



Bug-Out Plan: Vehicle + Livestock Trailer. Trailer contains "Luxuries." Truck contains only bug-out bags, Hand Tools, Critical Books, Critical Food, Berkley Systems, and Family/Companions. Trailer has extended Food Storage, Extended Fuel.
This needs to be discussed point by point as it is a HUGE topic. I am also probably not the best one to advise you on this as I plan on staying put. My bug out plan is about as short as your stay home plan.



Now, as for the rest of the post, you seem to be coming at this from the position of it is the total end of civilization. You realize of course that the TOTAL collapse of civilization is unlikely at most. I personally give it about a 0.5 % chance of happening. On the other hand, a full collapse and TEMPORARY end of the world I give about a 60% chance.

Still, as you are planning for the total end of the world, I will play along those lines. Bugging out in a total end of the world situation . . . . (I shudder at the thought) Buy some land so you can bug out . . . and then in again fast.

Onwards!

1: Bartering. I have do not have the money to currently own livestock (nor the time to care for them.) Other than Shoeing Horses, I have basic levels of Animal care under my belt from growing up around my Grandfather's farm. It is my hope that I can stock Berkley Systems and Mini-Seed Vaults, and, should the need arise, I would trade these away in order to secure Horses, and, if possible, Cows and Chickens. Horses would be first priority. As I live in Colorado, Horses are in plentiful supply within 10 miles of my home. What do you think is the viability of this Bartering situation. In TEOTWAWKI events, Berkley systems and Seeds are worth their weight in Gold (In my opinion), and I would like to think that people would trade excess Livestock for bare necessities like Water and the ability to grow food.

The reason I think Horses are essential is that no matter what, Vehicles break down or run out of fuel. In TEOTWAWKI events, I can breed horses to last future generations. I can't fix a Truck / Scavenge for fuel for forever.
I already Barter. I actually prefer it to cash as both parties generally come out ahead if done right.

You are on the right track thinking about things that would be of high value. Water filters, Salt, Food, Gold pieces (sometimes), Alcohol, Fuel . . . things that apply to human's most basic needs will be a great asset. I would also encourage you to barter a SKILL.

Skills in my opinion, will be the major difference between those who make it bugging out and those who don't. A person with talents in gardening, animals, wilderness survival, hunting, PEOPLE SKILLS, medical skills, etc, will be able to keep themselves alive much better then those without. Also, those skills could be bartered for a small bit of land to set up shop, food, water, and other necessities. Friends will be an extremely valuable asset in that sort of world. Skills can make friends fast.

Side note - Skills are USELESS unless they are actually an ingrained skill. This may sound redundant but rest assured, if you have a book on medicine, and some other guy is a practicing EMT . . . guess who is getting the extra food and warm bed that "farmer john" has available? Learn whatever skills you want, but learn them WELL.




2: Defense: I see many people advocating a variety of weapons on this site, along with things like 2k excess 22 cal rounds, etc etc. In my own mind, these things also have a half life. In TEOTWAWKI events, once that ammunition is gone, you have a metal stick in your hand, and nothing more. It is certainly viable for "Threat of Force" events, but little more. Personally, my weapon of choice is 2 Fiberglass Bows with a healthy supply of arrows. These arrows will break over time, but they can be replaced with wooden arrows. These are "Legacy" weapons - can be handed down, and never run out (unless they break.) I'm certain I would have a rifle or two, but I would not rely on deep ammunition storage. Do you fellows agree? (And before you ask, I do know how to use a Bow - have Bow hunted for about 8 years. Not perfect, but adept.)
My opinion on defense is very simple. Have the ability to fend off perhaps a small group (2-3). Other then that . . . HIDE.

People can not attack what they can not see, and you can't fend off a mob, no matter how Rambo like you are.

Again, Camouflage and friendship would be key in any defense plan, regardless of weapon choice.

That's about all I have to say about that. A gun is a gun. A bow is a bow. A knife is a knife. All can kill. It depends much more on the situation and the man, then the weapon.

3: Power: Personally, I feel that it is foolhardy to rely on power in TEOTWAWKI events. Even the best deep storage batteries wouldn't last 20 years, and then you'd be up a creek. In my humble opinion, it would be better to abandon power entirely in Bug-Out long term disasters, and rely on skills and handtools.
Solar.

Bug in? Get a solar array with battery storage.

Bug out? Get a solar array with battery storage.

The sun isn't dying out any time soon.

4: Bug Out Land: I feel having Bug Out Land is foolhardy for my own part. A: It's unaffordable for me at this point. B: There is no guarantee that your bug out land will be safe when the time comes, and more often than not, the land that *is* purchasable, is ill-suited to be bug-out land (IE: You'll be surrounded by a great many people.) My current plan is to head north. Northern Wyoming seems ideal, and is close to me, but if possible, I think it would be beneficial to go further into Montana or even Canada. I'd think I'll discuss this in a different thread however.
I couldn't disagree more. Even a couple acres, WAY far up in the hills can be turned into a gardening, hunting paradise in the event this country implodes. Land is life. Just make sure your bug out location is, 1) reachable, and 2) stocked with enough to either pass the disaster, or able to be transformed into a sustainable area. The second is the best option here, but GOD it takes a lot of time and skills to make that happen. Still, self sustainability in a remote area is the best.

5: Skills: This is a big one for me. I'm of the opinion that Skills > Supplies, and that Skill can get you 80% of the way towards what a Tool would have done for you. To that end though, there are a litany of skills I feel I need to get a basic understanding of, and many more that I'm not aware of. Are there skills that you feel are vital that I'm missing?
Skills YES! Skills > Supplies? Apples > Oranges?

They are two totally different things. Supplies are meant to supplement your basic needs quickly and effectively while you either build new resources, or procure self sustainability.

Skills on the other hand are the methods by which you obtain resources and self sufficiency. HAVE BOTH. There is no reason at all you can't work on both at the same time. Supplies cost money. Skills cost time. Both can be had simultaneously.

Listed in order of importance:

1: Purify / Filter water using Natural Means (Once Berkley is gone.)
2: Hunting, Trapping, Raising Livestock, Farming/Cropping
3: Create fire without Technology (Flint, Steel Wool, etc.)
4: Shelter
- Build Basic Shelter
- Mill Lumber using Hand-Tools (To create long term buildings)
- Create Natural Mortars (Adhesives for Buildings and Foundations.)
5: Basic Medical Care (Heimlich, CPR, Setting a Bone, Cleaning a Wound, Natural Treatments for basic ailments, Cold, Cough, Headache)
6: Leather (How to create leather from hide)
7: Smithing (How to recycle metal and create Heat Treated Metals - Mechanical Engineer, so I know the principles behind this, but would need to research how to make a forge, molds, among other things)
- Creating Grinding tools for sharpening would be key here, as well.

With those skills, I feel I could create a life for me and my companions to live comfortably.
My list (And this is once again assuming your bug out situation which IMO is dangerous and almost impossible):

1) Fire procurement. Simply get 5 or 10 or 1000 Pharaoh rods. They are cheap, and they ALWAYS work. And they last a long time. With Fire, you can purify water, cook meat, stay warm, etc.

2) Water source. Yes water is more important than fire, but since fire is SOOO easy, and goes hand in hand with purifying that e-coil ridden water you are about to drink, I put it second.

3) Shelter. Learn to construct shelters out of almost anything near by. This includes snow, ice, rocks, trees, grasses and dirt. Any of these can be used to build a workable shelter. Of course, I would still prefer a bug out cabin with 2 years supply of food, but to each our own. Oh . . . and exposure to elements will kill you 10X faster then starvation.

4) Medical. Get supplies. Know how to use them. Take a formal class, or better yet become an EMT as a hobby.

5) Defense. Assuming a total bug out plan, have fire arms. Have about 1000 rounds per fire arm. If you want to bring a bow, fine. Whatever.

6) NOW we get to hunting/trapping/farming/etc for the bug outerrer. However, as hunting with a 22 is VERY easy, this "skill" might not take long to master.

Leather is so far down my list . . . . wait. It isn't on my list at all. Never mind.


Ancillary luxuries I'd like to figure out

8: Building an Antenna / Long Range Radio
9: Medicine: This one boggles me. Many family members have ailments which need attention (Blood Pressure issues, etc.) Herbal remedies can only go so far. I'm not sure how to provide for them long term.
10: How to fashion Glass into lenses. This one is a key skill I need for my own and my families' survival. Poor eyesight plagues our family. Being able to fashion glasses would be necessary over time.
11: How to create natural lamp oils
12: How to create natural waxes (for candles)
You forgot Soap. Lie Soap is easier then ANYTHING you've listed here and much more useful. There are even people who teach classes on soap making. As for the rest of these, I'd imagine you will have other things to attend to then making lenses for glasses.

Edit: Oh wow, almost forgot some critical things:

13: Food storage: Salting, Freezing, etc etc (All in natural environment)
14: Procuring Salt.
Salt is $3 for a 25 pound bag. Buy it. Once that runs out, have more stored. Salt is one of the highest priority storage things you can have. However. . . as you are seeking to use it as a food storage method, may I suggest SMOKING food as a better alternative? As for veggies, dehydrating and vacuum sealing, or canning.

1-7 I know where and how to research. 8-14 I'm having severe difficulty in finding resources to learn these skills.
As you seem intent on bugging out check out you tube "hedgehog leathers" videos. Very useful info there. And that guy from "Dual survival" . . .I can't remember his name. That guy has some decent vids as well, especially about trapping, hunting etc.

That about sums it up for me. If anyone has any planning advice, particularly with regards to long-term Bugging Out, Bartering for Livestock, Defense, the abandonment of power, and developing skillsets, I'd be much obliged.

Thank you again ladies and gentlemen for letting me post on your forums!
My MAJOR suggestion . . . reconsider either a bug out location, or bugging in first before you go off into the wild.

If you are intent on vanishing into the wilderness, good luck to ya. You might want to scout out at least a location you would aim for rather then leaving that to the last second. Also, don't forget your map and compass.

Mountain man.
 

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Reality is Offensive
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There is a lot of information to absorb. You aren't doing so bad. I like your style, newbie that I am. Half of it is just starting and wanting to be ready.

Planning to use a bow as your defensive weapon is a mistake in my opinion. Even a 12 year old kid with a rusty old bolt action .22 that is missing its sights and magazine could lay waste to you. If you had nothing to defend yourself, it would be worthwhile to manufacture a bow, but why would you prep one almost exclusively ? I guess you could sneak in somewhere and shoot someone else's deer with it, and escape.

As far as weapons I would recommend four guns with loads of ammo. 12 ga pump shotgun for hunting and defense. Bolt action center fire rifle with scope for hunting and defense. Large bore revolver for suprise and defense. A semi-automatic or pump action .22 rifle for hunting, or for small women and children to use for defense. Maybe a .22 semi-automatic pistol for her to conceal.

Spend wisely.....it is easy to make mistakes.
 

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3 weeks, is your head ready to explode yet?

Been at this for nigh on 30 years and I still don't have it all together.

For defense, I'd prefer a firearm to pretty much anything else.
For hunting, I'd prefer a firearm to pretty much anything else, and I have an archery range in the backyard.

One thing to consider in a SHTF situation is that you may not be able to operate those bows due to an injury, space constraints or other reasons. I for one know that I can't hit the side of a barn when I'm suffering from the flu or the like.

Another point is that in a short term situation, (Katrina) there's nothing that will do what a firearm will do, or as well. A good .22 alone can protect you (there are better choices), and feed you for a minimal expense. Those extra rounds are more an insurance policy than anything else.

Look at it this way, you're not going to be going plinking or blasting off all that ammo if anything bad happens, you're going to be rationing and counting every round to make sure they last and last.

I have the same old .22 that got my family through the "great depression", it's still very accurate (4" at 100Y) with iron sights and has no parts that are going to break anytime soon. Packing it daily, it could account for an edible a day (or more) depending on what I run into, much like my great-grandfather and grandfather. They got by on single store bought rounds, not being able to afford the entire box at any time.

Those 'expensive' .22 rounds were used to keep the family fed, provide pelts for cash (or ammo), put down livestock and who knows what all else. When my Grandfather died, some 65+ years later, there was nearly 16K .22 rounds that he had hoarded over the last 25 years of his life, buying a box or two when he could. He knew more than most that ammo gets expensive or unavailable. He could have put back shotgun ammo, or more than a little rifle ammo, but he used his head and experience to know that his .22's were the backbone of the family food procurement scheme and piled them deep.
He had also seen what happens during wars and what occurs to indigenous populations when they can't feed or defend themselves.

Now being a handgunner and being more of a gun guy than Gramps ever tried to be, I look to the future and realize that it's possible that I may run out of ammo, I might even have to reload those cases that I've emptied. Luckily most of them have been loaded by me already and I have enough components for my kids lifetimes as long as they're semi-frugal.

Skipping "Zombie" invasions or long protracted running gun battles, my projected round count looks like this.

Centerfire hunting rounds, between hunting and checking zero, I use 20 rounds a year, maybe. My rifles are already sighted in and unless they're actually damaged, the zero won't change on them anytime in the next 50 years. So for 50 years of use, I need 1000+ rounds, easy enough. Heck I could probably use the same ammo for defense (and do).

Shotgun ammo - I went out today for the opening of Pheasant and had one shot. In a SHTF situation, I'd have used a .22 rather than a scattergun, less mess and fuss. But looking at it from a defensive perspective, a box of buckshot a year (25 rounds) rotating it out yearly, that's 1250 rounds for 50 years. And that's worst case scenario.
From a sporting perspective, you're gonna have your .22 along normally and only use the scattergun for sluicing game in coveys or groups on the ground so maybe the same 1250 for 50 years.

Handgun ammo - Here's where you're gonna put some back. My reasoning is as follows. 50 rounds of defensive ammo a year, rotated yearly. It's been the law enforcement standard for years and for good reason. You can save the 'old' stuff for practice, static defense, hunting, whatever but fresh goes into the defensive gun yearly. That way any powder breakdown from vibration, bullet setback or other issues are avoided. But you still have it, and those rounds are not going "bad" anytime soon properly stored.

Looking at it practically, you carry a handgun daily. However it's a defensive piece at this point and you're not going to be dragging it out except for an emergency, and ammo is not going to be wasted plinking or such.
And other rounds can be loaded for your handgun, especially if you chose a wheelgun, such as ultra-light game small loads or hard cast hunting loads that don't waste or eat up your defensive loads. Handloading gives you the versatility to make what you need as you need it.

So what the number for handguns? For defensive ammo? 50 rounds for 50 years, that comes to 2500 rounds. That's a lot of gunfights in anyone's books. How much "practice/hunting" ammo you put back is up to you.

I like my Grandfather look to the Depression for insight, as well as the Cowboys and Resistance fighters of the past. The Cowboys often carried a reloading tool for their handgun/rifle with them to load their empty cases at night around the campfire or stove. They made it as they needed it.
The same tools were put into use during the depression, at least in my area.
The Resistance fighters in WWII had a truly limited number of rounds of ammo, and each round needed to count for edible(s) or more ammo and guns gained.

So after all that, what firearms do I recommend at minimum?

1: A good .22 rifle. With decent iron sights, just in case.
2: A good hunting rifle, again with decent iron sights.
3: A good defensive handgun for each adult. I don't recommend semi-auto or wheelgun, you can figure out what works best for you and your life better than anyone can. But don't skimp on quality here, this is your and your families lifeline you're talking about here and it has to work when you need it. A spare is nice when you can afford it, but until then, you have other preps to make.

Battle rifles are nice, if you can afford or need one. But surprising things can be done with a good rifle. I have a Turkish 1924 Mauser 98 here that will put everything within 2" at 100y day in, day out and for only @$200.

Combine those with the ammo list, bought a little at a time and you have enough to get you by. Other firearms will eventually be bought, as like screwdrivers and other tools, you need more than one, but these few will get you by.
 

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Mod Certified PITA!
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Thanks in advance for reading this thread.
Certainly! and howdy!

A few comments on your (rather well done) scenarios and current preps:

It may be that you're focusing too much on the extremely unlikely scenario of Long-Term disruption, and not enough on Short Term, which is almost certain to happen, or Medium Term, which may happen. For instance, a bow may be good for hunting; but a shotgun will be more effective in home invasions or civil unrest. Take care of the short term, to make sure you reach long term...

As for the skills you want to pick up:

8: Building an Antenna / Long Range Radio
9: Medicine: This one boggles me. Many family members have ailments which need attention (Blood Pressure issues, etc.) Herbal remedies can only go so far. I'm not sure how to provide for them long term.
10: How to fashion Glass into lenses. This one is a key skill I need for my own and my families' survival. Poor eyesight plagues our family. Being able to fashion glasses would be necessary over time.
11: How to create natural lamp oils
12: How to create natural waxes (for candles)

Edit: Oh wow, almost forgot some critical things:

13: Food storage: Salting, Freezing, etc etc (All in natural environment)
14: Procuring Salt.

1-7 I know where and how to research. 8-14 I'm having severe difficulty in finding resources to learn these skills.

That about sums it up for me. If anyone has any planning advice, particularly with regards to long-term Bugging Out, Bartering for Livestock, Defense, the abandonment of power, and developing skillsets, I'd be much obliged.

Thank you again ladies and gentlemen for letting me post on your forums!
8: Amateur radio. Learn to be a HAM and you'll learn how to build an antenna that will blow people's socks off, by trial and error if nothing else. Or if you just want to listen and not communicate, shortwave. Either way, you'll have to rethink your view on long term power, as you can't have radio above a crystal set without electricity.

9: This is a problem we've all struggled with, without satisfactory solution. You can study what was done in the past to treat medical conditions; you can research alternative medicine for possible answers; you can stockpile chemicals and laboratory equipment, and learn pharmaceutical skills to be able to concoct treatments as far as you can; but unless you're a billionaire, you just can't duplicate modern medicine and drug production. Insulin, for instance. If you're a type I or insulin dependent type II diabetic, you need it to live. But these days it's synthesized in major drug company labs using specially modified bacteria; a process beyond the abilities of most individuals. You can go old school and harvest insulin from animals, if you have a large supply of them and a well equipped and supplied lab of your own, and the necessary skills; but that's virtually a career in itself. In the event of TEOTWAWKI, it very much looks like those of us who need drugs to live, won't.

10: Forget it. You'd need a supply of lens blanks, a grinding machine costing around $50,000, and optometrist skills. Whenever you or others get new glasses, just ask for two pair, and set one aside for emergencies; it will be much easier.

11: Blubber. Animal fat. Vegetable oil. Coal oil. Naturally occurring oozing petroleum.

12: Bees.

13: Salting, smoking, dehydrating, canning.

14: You don't. Unless you're near a sea, salt deposit, can trade, or are willing to process blood (which is 1% salt, as opposed to the 4% in seawater) for the salt.

Hope this helps.
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for your advice.

Goodness knows I'm 24 and am wrong more often than I am right. I'm looking at this from a 24 year old perspective who's grown up in a nearly completely urban, digital society.

I'll take all of your advice to heart, many of you have provided much more insight than I ever expected, and provided scenarios that I hadn't conceived of before.

Many, many thanks from the new kid!

Edit: Rest Assured - Once I hit my first 5 posts, y'all will get "Thanks."
 

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Bear Magnet
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There's no way you'll make it up here in Wyoming. You'll die! Don't even think about it.:D: Too cold, too windy, too much snow, bears, wolves, mountain lions, this is a very unhospitable environment. :D:
 

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Pass the beans, please
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Learn to garden and can/preserve food. Learn how to make and maintain soil, start seeds, transplant, can, dehydrate, etc etc. Start with a trip to the LDS Cannery if you have one close by (I am not LDS either) so you get an idea of what is involved.

This is often overlooked but it is absolutely one of the most important skills to survival that there can be.

Same with hunting and preparing game/livestock. These are basic but necessary skills to survival. You can get overwhelmed reading threads here but never forget the most important basics - water and food. Security is very important but does not mean much if you are dehydrated, starving, or sick from dirty water.

There are lots of folks with high-tech gizmos, the latest weaponry, and lots of high speed food storage on here. That is all great but if the economy collapses the ability to garden and store food will be a high demand skill/necessity. It is not a skill that is real easy to succeed with in year #1.

My advice, don't neglect it and start your practice now!
 
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