Many in the precious metals community are eagerly anticipating a complete systemic collapse of the financial system because as “preppers”, they expect to not only survive, but to prosper in a SHTF scenario.  We suspect however that the following MUST READ account of surviving the Bosnian war in the midst of a complete collapse of the grid & financial system will be eye-opening in just how difficult it is to survive a full-on Mad Max scenario, even if one has spent years preparing for it.

I am from Bosnia. Between 1992 and 1995, it was hell.
For one year, I lived and survived in a city with 6,000 people without water, electricity, gasoline, medical help, civil defense, distribution service, any kind of traditional service or centralized rule.
Money soon became worthless.  We returned to an exchange.  For a tin can of tushonka (think Soviet spam), you could have a woman
Arms, ammunition, candles, lighters, antibiotics, gasoline, batteries and food.  We fought for these things like animals.
In these situations, it all changes. Men become monsters. 
Strength was in numbers.  For a man living alone, getting killed and robbed would be just a matter of time, even if he was armed.
The following is my experience…

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Our city was blockaded by the army; and for one year, life in the city turned into total crap. We had no army, no police. We only had armed groups; those armed protected their homes and families.
When it all started, some of us were better prepared. But most of the neighbors’ families had enough food only for a few days. Some had pistols; a few had AK-47s or shotguns.

After a month or two, gangs started operating, destroying everything. Hospitals, for example, turned into slaughterhouses. There was no more police. About 80 percent of the hospital staff were gone. I got lucky. My family at the time was fairly large (15 people in a large house, six pistols, three AKs), and we survived (most of us, at least).

The Americans dropped MREs every 10 days to help blockaded cities. This was never enough. Some — very few — had gardens. It took three months for the first rumors to spread of men dying from hunger and cold. We removed all the doors, the window frames from abandoned houses, ripped up the floors and burned the furniture for heat. Many died from diseases, especially from the water (two from my own family). We drank mostly rainwater, ate pigeons and even rats.

Money soon became worthless. We returned to an exchange. For a tin can of tushonka (think Soviet spam), you could have a woman. (It is hard to speak of it, but it is true.) Most of the women who sold themselves were desperate mothers.

Arms, ammunition, candles, lighters, antibiotics, gasoline, batteries and food. We fought for these things like animals. In these situations, it all changes. Men become monsters. It was disgusting.

Strength was in numbers. A man living alone getting killed and robbed would be just a matter of time, even if he was armed.

Today, me and my family are well-prepared, I am well-armed. I have experience.

It does not matter what will happen: an earthquake, a war, a tsunami, aliens, terrorists, economic collapse, uprising. The important part is that something will happen.

Here’s my experience: You can’t make it on your own. Don’t stay apart from your family; prepare together, choose reliable friends.

1. How to move safely in a city

The city was divided into communities along streets. Our street (15 to 20 homes) had patrols (five armed men every week) to watch for gangs and for our enemies.

All the exchanges occurred in the street. About 5 kilometers away was an entire street for trading, all well-organized; but going there was too dangerous because of the snipers. You could also get robbed by bandits. I only went there twice, when I needed something really rare (list of medicine, mainly antibiotics, of the French original of the texts).

Nobody used automobiles in the city: The streets were blocked by wreckage and by abandoned cars. Gasoline was very expensive. If one needed to go somewhere, that was done at night. Never travel alone or in groups that were too big — always two to three men. All armed, travel swift, in the shadows, cross streets through ruins, not along open streets.

There were many gangs 10 to 15 men strong, some as large as 50 men. But there were also many normal men, like you and me, fathers and grandfathers, who killed and robbed. There were no “good” and “bad” men. Most were in the middle and ready for the worst.

2. What about wood? Your home city is surrounded by woods; why did you burn doors and furniture?

There were not that many woods around the city. It was very beautiful — restaurants, cinemas, schools, even an airport. Every tree in the city and in the city park was cut down for fuel in the first two months.

Without electricity for cooking and heat, we burned anything that burned. Furniture, doors, flooring: That wood burns swiftly. We had no suburbs or suburban farms. The enemy was in the suburbs. We were surrounded. Even in the city you never knew who was the enemy at any given point.

3. What knowledge was useful to you in that period?

To imagine the situation a bit better, you should know it was practically a return to the Stone Age.

For example, I had a container of cooking gas. But I did not use it for heat. That would be too expensive! I attached a nozzle to it I made myself and used to fill lighters. Lighters were precious.

If a man brought an empty lighter, I would fill it; and he would give me a tin of food or a candle.

I was a paramedic. In these conditions, my knowledge was my wealth. Be curious and skilled. In these conditions, the ability to fix things is more valuable than gold.

Items and supplies will inevitably run out, but your skills will keep you fed.

I wish to say this: Learn to fix things, shoes or people.

My neighbor, for example, knew how to make kerosene for lamps. He never went hungry.

4. If you had three months to prepare now, what would you do?

Three months? Run away from the country? (joking)

Today, I know everything can collapse really fast. I have a stockpile of food, hygiene items, batteries — enough to last me for six months.

I live in a very secure flat and own a home with a shelter in a village 5 kilometers away. Another six-month supply there, too. That’s a small village; most people there are well-prepared. The war had taught them.

I have four weapons and 2,000 rounds for each.

I have a garden and have learned gardening. Also, I have a good instinct. You know, when everyone around you keeps telling you it’ll all be fine, but I know it will all collapse.

I have strength to do what I need to protect my family. Because when it all collapses, you must be ready to do “bad” things to keep your children alive and protect your family.

Surviving on your own is practically impossible. (That’s what I think.) Even you’re armed and ready, if you’re alone, you’ll die. I have seen that happen many times.

Families and groups, well-prepared, with skills and knowledge in various fields: That’s much better.


5. What should you stockpile?

That depends. If you plan to live by theft, all you need is weapons and ammo. Lots of ammo.

If not, more food, hygiene items, batteries, accumulators, little trading items (knives, lighters, flints, soap). Also, alcohol of a type that keeps well. The cheapest whiskey is a good trading item.

Many people died from insufficient hygiene. You’ll need simple items in great amounts. For example, garbage bags. Lots of them. And toilet papers. Non-reusable dishes and cups: You’ll need lots of them. I know that because we didn’t have any at all.

As for me, a supply of hygiene items is perhaps more important than food. You can shoot a pigeon. You can find a plant to eat. You can’t find or shoot any disinfectant.

Disinfectant, detergents, bleach, soap, gloves, masks.

First aid skills, washing wounds and burns. Perhaps you will find a doctor and will not be able to pay him.

Learn to use antibiotics. It’s good to have a stockpile of them.

You should choose the simplest weapons. I carry a Glock .45. I like it, but it’s a rare gun here. So I have two TT pistols, too. (Everyone has them and ammo is common.)

I don’t like Kalashnikov’s, but again, same story. Everyone has them; so do I.

You must own small, unnoticeable items. For example, a generator is good, but 1,000 BIC lighters are better. A generator will attract attention if there’s any trouble, but 1,000 lighters are compact, cheap and can always be traded.

We usually collected rainwater into four large barrels and then boiled it. There was a small river, but the water in it became very dirty very fast.

It’s also important to have containers for water: barrels and buckets.

6. Were gold and silver useful?

Yes. I personally traded all the gold coins in the house for ammunition.

Sometimes, we got our hands on money: dollars and Deutschmarks. We bought some things for them, but this was rare and prices were astronomical. For example, a can of beans cost $30 to $40. The local money quickly became worthless. Everything we needed we traded for through barter.

7. Was salt expensive?

Yes, but coffee and cigarettes were even more expensive. I had lots of alcohol and traded it without problems. Alcohol consumption grew over 10 times as compared to peacetime. Perhaps today, it’s more useful to keep a stock of cigarettes, lighters and batteries. They take up less space.

At this time, I was not a survivalist. We had no time to prepare — several days before the shit hit the fan. The politicians kept repeating over the TV that everything was going according to plan, there’s no reason to be concerned. When the sky fell on our heads, we took what we could.

8. Was it difficult to purchase firearms? What did you trade for arms and ammunition?

After the war, we had guns in every house. The police confiscated lots of guns at the beginning of the war. But most of them we hid. Now I have one legal gun that I have a license for. Under the law, that’s called a temporary collection. If there is unrest, the government will seize all the registered guns. Never forget that.

You know, there are many people who have one legal gun, but also illegal guns if that one gets seized. If you have good trade goods, you might be able to get a gun in a tough situation. But remember, the most difficult time is the first days, and perhaps you won’t have enough time to find a weapon to protect your family. To be disarmed in a time of chaos and panic is a bad idea.

In my case, there was a man who needed a car battery for his radio. He had shotguns. I traded the accumulator for both of them. Sometimes, I traded ammunition for food, and a few weeks later traded food for ammunition. Never did the trade at home, never in great amounts.

Few people knew how much and what I keep at home.

The most important thing is to keep as many things as possible in terms of space and money. Eventually, you’ll understand what is more valuable.

Correction: I’ll always value weapons and ammunition the most. Second? Maybe gas masks and filters.

9. What about security?

Our defenses were very primitive. Again, we weren’t ready, and we used what we could. The windows were shattered, and the roofs in a horrible state after the bombings. The windows were blocked — some with sandbags, others with rocks.

I blocked the fence gate with wreckage and garbage, and used a ladder to get across the wall. When I came home, I asked someone inside to pass over the ladder. We had a fellow on our street that completely barricaded himself in his house. He broke a hole in the wall, creating a passage for himself into the ruins of the neighbor’s house — a sort of secret entrance.

Maybe this would seem strange, but the most protected houses were looted and destroyed first. In my area of the city, there were beautiful houses with walls, dogs, alarms and barred windows. People attacked them first. Some held out; others didn’t. It all depended how many hands and guns they had inside.

I think defense is very important, but it must be carried out unobtrusively. If you are in a city and SHTF comes, you need a simple, non-flashy place, with lots of guns and ammo.

How much ammo? As much as possible.

Make your house as unattractive as you can.

Right now, I own a steel door, but that’s just against the first wave of chaos. After that passes, I will leave the city to rejoin a larger group of people, my friends and family.

There were some situations during the war. There’s no need for details, but we always had superior firepower and a brick wall on our side.

We also constantly kept someone watching the streets. Quality organization is paramount in case of gang attacks.

Shooting was constantly heard in the city.

Our perimeter was defended primitively. All the exits were barricaded and had little firing slits. Inside we had at least five family members ready for battle at any time and one man in the street, hidden in a shelter.

We stayed home through the day to avoid sniper fire.

At first, the weak perish. Then, the rest fight.

During the day, the streets were practically empty due to sniper fire. Defenses were oriented toward short-range combat alone. Many died if they went out to gather information, for example. It’s important to remember we had no information, no radio, no TV — only rumors and nothing else.

There was no organized army; every man fought. We had no choice. Everybody was armed, ready to defend themselves.

You should not wear quality items in the city; someone will murder you and take them. Don’t even carry a “pretty” long arm, it will attract attention.

Let me tell you something: If SHTF starts tomorrow, I’ll be humble. I’ll look like everyone else. Desperate, fearful. Maybe I’ll even shout and cry a little bit.

Pretty clothing is excluded altogether. I will not go out in my new tactical outfit to shout: “I have come! You’re doomed, bad guys!” No, I’ll stay aside, well-armed, well-prepared, waiting and evaluating my possibilities, with my best friend or brother.

Super-defenses, super-guns are meaningless. If people think they should steal your things, that you’re profitable, they will. It’s only a question of time and the amount of guns and hands.

10. How was the situation with toilets?

We used shovels and a patch of earth near the house. Does it seem dirty? It was. We washed with rainwater or in the river, but most of the time the latter was too dangerous. We had no toilet paper; and if we had any, I would have traded it away.

It was a “dirty” business.

Let me give you a piece of advice: You need guns and ammo first — and second, everything else. Literally everything! All depends on the space and money you have.

If you forget something, there will always be someone to trade with for it. But if you forget weapons and ammo, there will be no access to trading for you.

I don’t think big families are extra mouths. Big families means both more guns and strength — and from there, everyone prepares on his own.

11. How did people treat the sick and the injured?

Most injuries were from gunfire. Without a specialist and without equipment, if an injured man found a doctor somewhere, he had about a 30 percent chance of survival.

It ain’t the movie. People died. Many died from infections of superficial wounds. I had antibiotics for three to four uses — for the family, of course.

People died foolishly quite often. Simple diarrhea will kill you in a few days without medicine, with limited amounts of water.

There were many skin diseases and food poisonings… nothing to it.

Many used local plants and pure alcohol — enough for the short-term, but useless in the long term.

Hygiene is very important, as well as having as much medicine as possible — especially antibiotics.

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    • What americans don’t have are friends who are willing to die for each other. People in other countries take this for granted. But in US everyone will find it out fast in a very hard way.

    • Many items will be useful as trade goods.  The Bic lighters mentioned will be great for that and so will candles, matches, fish hooks and line, needles and thread, water filters, seeds, and even buttons.  .22 ammo will be terrific, as it is an almost perfect small game getter.
      Agree on the shortage of friends.  While most of us do have friends, we are dispersed and not living close to each other.  Family will matter HUGELY.  Many of us consider family to be of the highest importance but in a SHTF situation, they will become even more important.  The point in the article that there is strength in numbers cannot be over-stated.  This is of critical importance.  A lone wolf is a dead wolf.  This is why wolves travel and live in packs, each providing and drawing strength from the others.

    • @undeRGRound
      Not Charlie but let me chime in here.  Stackable items are many and varied.  Virtually anything that is manufactured in large numbers, is cheap, and yet handy will be good to stack.  Can openers, matches, candles, bandages, fish hooks and line, seeds, needles and thread, coffee, soap of all kinds, disinfectant, anti-septic, aspirin, vitamin and mineral supplements, TP, hand tools, gloves, a solar powered battery charger, chocolate, Kool-Aid, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products (which also make good field dressings), tarps, rope, plastic bags, ammo (especially .22LR and 12-ga but also BBs and pellets as well), and much else.  Search the web for articles on “100 things that disappear first in a crisis” and you will find LOTS of good ideas.

  1. Thank you for sharing that with us. I consider myself to be a “prepper,” but much of the information I receive is biased and based on commercial interests with a lot of testosterone thrown in. The environment you describe is pretty much what I was afraid of. There won’t be any proper infrastructure, hospitals or civil authority. The general population will be a bigger threat than the actual enemy and we will have to rely on people we trust. Your insight will help me redirect my preparations for the SHTF environment. Thank You!

    • “The general population will be a bigger threat than the actual enemy…”
      They may, in fact, be one and the same.  There will be a lot of predators out there, looking to take what they need to live because they failed to plan for a SHTF scenario.  Be VERY cautious of strangers.  Some of them may be dressed as soldiers, police, or other official people.  Whether or not they really are soldiers or police is questionable.  Even if they are, they could still have gone rogue and no longer represent any higher authority than their own needs.  One of the first casualties in as SHTF scenario will be trust.  

    • Exactly so, Mammoth.   A true SHTF situation will be more awful than practically any of us can imagine.  Anyone cheering for it to happen is a fool, IMO.  I pray to God on a regular basis that it never happens… and with sincerity.  But I also know that God helps those who help themselves, so I prep so that we have food, water, fuel, ammo, meds, and many other useful items.  
      The comment in the article about having all of the ammo you can get is very important.  A gun with no ammo is just a fancy club.  If we ever do have a SHTF situation to deal with, few will be selling ammo and if they do it will be VERY expensive.

    • Agreed! If the USA were to suffer through a collapse similar to Bosnia the death toll would be maybe 40% maybe more if it lasts a year IMO. Thats around 150 million Americans. Someone that wants the collapse to happen really doesn’t understand the seriousness of the situation and either doesn’t have a family or lives abroad. Most Americans live in the city. Cant plant crops on a concrete slab. They will die of disease and starvation. Now is the time to prepare kiddies! Because we don’t have much time left. Maybe just a few months.Hopefully a year.
      Like Nas said: “Hope You Got Yourself a Gun”
      Its going to get ugly! If you don’t hold it(gun) you don’t own it(your life, Silver, Gold, Food…)

    • Ed_B said: “But I also know that God helps those who help themselves”
      Just want to let you know that’s theological BS. No monotheistic God said that…….anywhere. God helps those who love and worship Him and those who help others in need. He helps those that dispense mercy and love righteousness. Quit spreading false theological dogma and encouraging others to become “me first” sociopaths.

    • “God helps those who love and worship Him and those who help others in need. He helps those that dispense mercy and love righteousness.”

      So you’re saying that this “God” of yours actually said this? Have you got a recording or a signed letter?

      And you vomit dogma all over the place!!
      Your own words apply to you, even more so actually..
      “Quit spreading false theological dogma and encouraging others to become “me first” sociopaths.”

      Do you realize how out of touch with reality you actually are and how stupid you make yourself look?

    • correct @wonderdog.
      which god “word” do you refer to ? @NotSure.
      my God tell us to stockup food, valuable item, anything good.
      so that we can help ourself and our family.
      and also can help who need it ( friend, neighbour, etc ).
      oh really ?.
      ever heard about wise man named Joseph ?. ( actually he is a prophet of God )
      who advised his King to store “most” of wheat grain in 7 year.

      ( and his king agree with him after have weird dream )

      but after that… the drought really kicks in, so what he do ?

      he have tons of wheat grain managed by him.he distributed fairly to all of his people ( including his big family ).
      this drought last for 7 years
      ( and if he have none of grain, he and his people will die fast in the first year ).


      if you have none… that what will you give to other ?

      it is comple BS to say you will help other if you have none

    • @Not Sure – The implication is there (to help oneself), for example:

      A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

      Proverbs 22 – 3

    • When today’s markets collapse in a SHTF situation, black markets will spring up like mushrooms after a spring rain.  Typically, these can provide virtually anything one needs but highly desirable items will be hard to find and expensive when we do.  The best way to resolve that issue is to have items to trade that are also highly desirable and difficult to come by.
      When going to and from a black market, security will be a huge issue.  There will be those who will try to ambush anyone coming from such a market in the hope of taking something they can use from the dead bodies.  Go armed, go quietly, and don’t go alone.

    • Can you get pepper guns, sprays?  – there are some good ones eg. Mace, Piexon, Pepperball, combined with a nice pocket knife? (good synergy there)
      @Marchas45 … the IRA had help from the British Government, under the control of those who cause all wars in history, so it was easier for them than us!

    • @Chief – BINGO!
      Also, this line surprised me:
      “We had no toilet paper; and if we had any, I would have traded it away.”
      In another such account from a survivor of that war (think he lived in Sarajevo) I read years ago, the writer advised to absolutely not overlook having a stock of toilet paper in a SHTF situation. Which makes more sense to me.

    • “…the writer advised to absolutely not overlook having a stock of toilet paper in a SHTF situation. Which makes more sense to me.”
      Indeed so.  I don’t know that cleanliness is next to godliness, as some say, but it surely is next to healthiness.  Keeping ourselves as clean as possible will be a BIG help in staying healthy and that will be critical in a SHTF scenario.  To stay alive, we MUST be able to function as normally as possible.  We will be called upon to exert ourselves physically in many ways, perhaps excessively. A sick person cannot do this as well (or at all) as can a healthy person.  Also, being clean is a security issue.  Dirty people often can be smelled as they approach and knowing that someone is coming into your location can be vital info.  If one has a large supply of TP, it WILL be quite a trade item.

  2. Interesting read…thank you! I am also from Bosnia but luckily I was only 8 years old when the war started so we fled to Croatia while my father and uncle stayed back to fight and protect the city. I do however remember the war in Croatia…it was pretty bad. We were in east Croatia near Serbia so we were bombarded every single day for 4years. All I can say is that if there was no Caritas aid (Church organization) we would not have made it. It is also strange how fast humans adapt to extreme situations. I remember I accepted war mentality after only few days.
    Hvala na ovom tekstu. Žao mi je za sve poginule iz Vaše obitelji. Neka im Bog da mir i bude milostiv.

  3. There is a terrific list of essentials which every prepper should consider having on-hand.  I believe this list of ‘100 items to disappear first in a crisis‘ was compiled by a survivor of the war in Bosnia.  Here is the link:
    @MrOnline, that was very kind of you to say that.
    (“Thanks for this article. I’m sorry for all victims of your family. May God give them peace and mercy.”)

  4. When the SHTF I think we would all be amazed at seeing what comes out of the basements, closets and cashes.  Guns and ammo are maybe the most important of the commodities.  From what little I know of the Bosnian conflicts and those in the surrounding areas, these small countries were very well armed.  AK 47s and like eastern battle rifles are very commonplace.  The ethnic and religious conflicts were brutal with no side showing any leniency.  The Mad Max scenario has been seen in many countries from South and Central America, Africa, Russian satellites and the Asian countries.  I’d take one of my AK’s over any one of my M4s if the doo doo hit the fan. 
    The US population is fairly peaceful whether by nature or complacency.  We try to resolve our difference with a give and take that many people in other countries would consider an act of cowardice and complete failure to protect the tribe. Millions of men and women have seen the gore of battle overseas and would not seek to have it on our shores.
      What concerns me is the active and aggressive Balkanization (note the geographical reference) of this country—the haves and have nots—rich and poor—entitled and enfranchised—white, black or brown.  What worries me is that these divisions could be explosive.  Serious and deepening poverty afflict out land. 
    We are the most armed nation in the world with a factor of at least 5 to 10 times as many firearms;  300,000,000 by some estimations  The licensed hunters in Wisconsin and two other northern states would collectively comprise the largest army in the world with each hunter capable of surviving comfortably in the woods for days or weeks at a time.
    Those who want to bring it on and see some sort of collapse should think twice before they seek this level of societal collapse. 
    As prepped as my BOB and I am, the actions needed to stay alive would be grisly and then some.   And we are not nearly as prepared to face what this author went through.

    • “I’d take one of my AK’s over any one of my M4s if the doo doo hit the fan.”
      RGR that, AG.  The AK is not a scalpel by any means but it is a helluva cleaver.  It’s got two redeeming features that I consider essential in a battle rifle: 1) it goes BANG every time the trigger is pulled; and 2) it easy to maintain.  Also like that the ammo is cheap and the AK round is a good penetrator.  Topping that off, the AK round is legal for big game hunting in my state while the .223 round is not.  The ARs have some nice features too but would not be my 1st choice in a battle rifle.  They are still WAY better than any pistol, however.

  5. PS  My prepper guide to the right of these posts is a good start.  If you can’t do it all, allocate parts ofthe prepping to members of your family, team, group, squad or BOB (Band of Brothers)  Even if you acquire 3 months worth of supplies, it won’t fill a small closet.  Dump and get rid of superflous stuff.  Sell it at a garage sale and take the cash, buy cheaply at a restaurant supply house—candles and matches are incredibly cheap.  One thing I did not notice in Selco’s account was communication. Buy yourself some inexpensive CB radios and a half dozen small walkie talkies.  Get them with rechargeable batteries or solar chargers so you can move 3-5 miles line of sight and stay in touch.  Battle language is good OPSEC.  Those codings are available on the web.  Morse Code is really old school but good as well.  There and hundreds of suggestions but  That site is vast in its resources.  FYI.  Delegate and compartmentalize if you have trusted friends. Use a secure storage facility or rent a nearby garage to store the heavy weight stuffs. 

  6. This is the Very reason that everyone should be trying to wake up the local sheep around you right now. There has Never been such a break down that is coming.  If Nuclear plants are not shut down correctly which takes about two years, then we will all be living in radiation as well. I do what I can do, but it is ultimately in God’s hands, so I just hope to go in the Rapture! Before all this happens to the complete break down, I believe there will be a Great Revival of the Church, but it will be short and quick. 

  7. I am setup to reload most of the popular cartridges now, some I don’t even have but if people can bring me brass and trade goods I can make ammo. Add in my own supply of ammo to protect things and 5 friends who will be moving in.
    Know how to do other things, I am setup to grind grain for flour, being a rural farming area we won’t starve with all the grain stored in the elevator and on local farms. Some have pigs and cattle also.
    City bought a surplus diesel generator for the well, and there is a large tank of fuel to run it. Generator that has no electronics so it should survive any emp attacks. Small towns will band together for defense, mine has. We will barricade the roads in and out to stop easy access.

  8. Stolen Credit Card Report.
    Well, have to tell you all that one of my wife’s credit cards was stolen last month.
    I didn’t bother to report the theft after I received the credit card statement.
    Turns out the person who stole the card charges way far less than my wife usually does!
    Things are starting to look up!

  9. A person would have to be a complete idiot to wish for such an outcome in the future.  I don’t care how well protected you are with an adequate number of supplies, you will only become a target for those without.  You may feel smug in your fortified bunker with your family members, but gangs will exist, some bigger than others, and they will work to take what they don’t have.   I for one wouldn’t want to see this senario occur just to prove myself right.

    • Even a full on BugOut in the wilderness will be rough. Preparedness OK, you can do well with a 
      small group, even thrive, until trouble comes knocking. Same rules apply then, your top ten llist 
      is #1-7 GUNS & AMMO 1. Guns. 2. Ammo. 3. Guns. 4-7. Ammo, Ammo, AMMO! (ammo) 
      8-10 food, food, supplies. 

  10. A lot of people say they don’t want to buy gear  and food to have a decent stockpile of goods should we have a tough go of things.  It would take quite a bit to see the TEOTWAWKI scenario, but we’ve seen plenty of natural disasters. If a person stocked 3-6 months of goods and nothing happened, what would they have accomplished assuming a happy ending to this gloom and doom scenario building.
    They’de have purchased usable items at a lower price today than 5 years.  Those items can be consumed.  Stocked cheap alcohol would age  and be more drinkable.  Water is still water. Ammo can stay good for 40 years.  Firearms have a lifespan of 50-100 years if cleaned and lubed.  Medicines have a 5-10 year shelf life.  Precious metals?? Who knows about that but if they are not worth more in 5-10 years than they are now, even with a 10% increase in value, I would be very surprised  
    Almost every items stocked for prepping can have a shelf life of decades, even freeze dried and dehydrated food. Even MREs can keep for a decade.   Rotating perishables like beans and rice can be used within the normal food diet and replaced easily.  Salt has an unlimited life span.  Those things that do degrade and wear down are rotated into the stockpiles and spend as needed, traded were possible or discarded if they are beyond their useful life span.
    I spent 3 hours this evening talking about prepping with a friend of 40 years.  He has be well trained in CERT, EMS, FEMA and other mission critical services during his career.  The one lesson repeated provide was the SAS Rule of 3  The SAS was and is the British special forces.  Tough SOBs.  Like the Seals and Delta Force
    The Rule of 3 is pretty simple and brings life preservation  and prepping skills into sharp focus.  A person can plan well with those time constraint in mind
    A person can live 3 minutes without oxygen (think gas masks or breathing gear)
    3 hours without shelter can be life threatening (temp extremes)
    A person can go 3 days without water
    You can survive 3 weeks without food
    A person can go 3 months with hope ( cmpanionship and a Bible can go a long way)
    An important factor in the rule of 3.  The body temperature can go up or down  3 degrees before bad things happen.  94 degree and hypothermia sets in .   A body temperature of 101 will cause a person to hallucinate.  This is the primary reason to seek shelter.
    If its good enough for the SAS it’s good enough for me

    • Hey AGXIIK if you give the thumbs up to my “device” I am 
      Sending, I will blow it out there for the peeps. Free plans &
      technical advice. It can run easily on less than 1 watt

  11. Do you remember what happened after the Bosnia event, there was a MELTDOWN.  World Exchanges were in a Domino Effect.   Remember Shock waves ripple through out the globe.  Yet, this will be a drop in the bucket compared of the cresting on the ridge of unbacked fiat paper currency of the world?  Would you want to trade your money into a foreign currency called the United States of America knowing there is more than 13 trillion dollars out there (Inflationary money) excluding the shores of the US?  I think Ben Bernanke is destroying the paper money & converting it into digital currency? 
         Back in August 28, 1998, was the Meltdown of Russia.  Just a couple of years on September 9, 2001, Rumsfeld lost or we stuffed 2.3 trillion into someones pocket (military) because we were redirected on September 11, 2001 fiasco.  We do not know where that money went?  On a side note, I read somewhere, Russia had its bonds maturing of a couple billion dollars during this time?  I think it was the New York Times.  So please call 1(800) 332-1499 to Impeach President Obama for high crimes & misdemeanors.  Your great grandchildren will than you. Hit them where it hurts, and to keep this military game called capitalism, False flag is coming out to redirect your thinking.

  12. What is really sickening is many assume the inevitable. They take it for granted that we citizens are helpless, and “they” will do what “they” want, when “they” want. This has to be the most sickening aspect of the SHTF scenarios. In America, I doubt SD Bullion would survive an Ohio winter. Ditto for Maine Marchas in Maine. Nevadans would not survive the first 100 degree week. Single occupantd with guns and solar panels? Toast. Then race becomes the uniter/divider. That is far as I will delve into it. With any luck, I will be murdered in the first week. If not, then I have a real dilemma, being a practicing Catholic. One thing is for sure, and the entire world is watching American citizens to do something, if we do not unite to take back our government through the rights and freedoms of our founding documentd, non-violently, bought for in blood, no amount of violence will get them back. One example, organize 50,000 out of work Californians to move to San Francisco and vote out Pelosi. Every out of work Floridian should vote out Rubio. Ditto for every politician in office longer than two terms. Next up, local statewide elections, Sheriff elections, mayors, county council. Vote out the incumbents. Vote to not renew the Patriot Act. Vote to restore Glass-Steagal. Vote to have hearings on JPM. Other than that, the farmer in Micronesia holding dollars will be better off than we big, free, AC cooled, SUV driven Americans ignorant of our freedoms and frozen into inaction.

  13. Some of our politicians think that China has a good way of running things.  So it wouldn’t surprise me to see MRE’s falling out of the sky from as Uncle George used to say “our friends in China”.  Imagine you’ve got the military laying siege to all urban areas coast to coast.  Everybody is hungry and food marked “made in the PRC” is dropped on to the impacted areas.  That would make all of the sheeple run towards the loving arms of Uncle Xi Xinping and his commie doctrine.  The public could be tricked into believing anything practically. 

  14. Hot Topic!  Good posts!  Sterling to Ed B and AG!
    Ammo, check; think I have everything….I forgot a box of buttons.  I will not forget TP equivalent, the flushable moist wipes.  The women folk do not like them as much, but for function, storage and value…..I may need more.  After a hard days work I do not want to smell myself or anyone else.  Probably need another half case of deodorant.  Don’t think this will be a bartering item?
    Good article.  
    Thomas says, ‘organize 50,000 out of work Californians to move to San Francisco and vote out Pelosi’.
    That is one way to organize!  Do it in all 50 states!  Want Change? 

  15. Sheep Dog Copy on the wipes. Costco has the best.  10 boxes per case. 90-100 wipes per. I case will last 2-3 months.
    can be used for most anything including facial cleaning, wound prep and other things. 
    If someone comes to take my stuff, they will find  I’ll fight to the end for my Costco wipes

  16. its best to have 1.000 BIC lighter than a generator.


    yup… we can grow lot of food if we have land ( or just plant seed in the woods ).
    but we cannot manufacturing lighter in our garage.

    not without mass production and high tech machine.

    but fire piston is really simple method to get fire

    <img src=”×300.jpg”></img>


  17. Wow  a Golden Oldie.  Lots of fun dialogue and from people who’ve not been  here for a while

    I was at the range last saturday Jan 31 and spent about 2 hours doing some fine tuning with my AK

    Word to the wise.  DO NOT TRY TO PUT A RED DOT OR LASER ON AN AK.

    AK’s are great with iron sights. 100,000,000 commies can’t be all wrong.

    I was using an Aimpoint red dot on a rail just above the gas tube.  What a dumb ass!!  It would not stay zeroed for s****.     Two friends came to the range to relieve me of my stupidity.  One pointed out the location of the Aim Point was entirely inappropriate.  The other friend pointed out that I could use it on a pellet gun.  Nice—real nice.  Thanks.  HAHAHA.

    One more thing.  One cause of a Type I malfuction is trying to put rounds of different calibers in the wrong magazine.  Here is a really good suggestion

    When you are loading your mags be sure the 9mm goes in the 9mm mag and the 40 cal goes in  the 40 cal mags.  I found out that  Wolf 5.56 and 7.62×39 look a bit alike when loading the rounds into the mags.  The 5.56 barely fits into the AK mag but once you get 5-6 rounds in, the 5.56 binds up since it is slightly narrower.

    And another thing.

    If a shooter (not saying is was me but you know what I mean) manages to get a mag full of mixed rounds, the 5.56 will get all wrapped around the axle when feeding and cause what I would call a TYPE 4  MALFUNCTION.   It cannot be cleared at the range, particularly if this mixed ammo is a SKS magazine and gets into the action.

    There are 16 types of TYPE I malfunctions.  This type is a FUBAR.  and dangerous to boot.  Check your calibers closely.  It is easy to mistake them in the haste too reload and get on the range.

    • @AGXIIK


      Wow  a Golden Oldie.  Lots of fun dialogue and from people who’ve not been  here for a while”

      For sure, Bro.  It was good to see a comment from Mary B.  I always liked her down to earth and completely sensible comments.


      “I was at the range last saturday Jan 31 and spent about 2 hours doing some fine tuning with my AK.  Word to the wise.  DO NOT TRY TO PUT A RED DOT OR LASER ON AN AK.”


      Not unless you have one of those side-saddle mounts.  Those always looked kind of funky to me.  Newly designed AKs often have a picatinny rail or two to hang optics, lights, etc. from.  Agree on the AK having decent iron sights, though.


    • AG – I have one of these and it works fine: Leapers UTG 5th Generation Quick Detachable Double-Rail AK Side Mount  (about $30).

      A friend of mine put an Aimpoint on it and loves it…and it holds zero really well (as does mine). I have only temporarily put a Leupold 1.5  x 5 x 20 on it (overkill), but I will get an inexpensive red-dot to put on it.

      On the other hand, this thing (AK) is mostly for 100 yards in and the iron sights work quite well -at least in daylight…nighttime might be another matter.

  18. One idea I had about coffee, is that when it runs short, have a supply of chocolate covered espresso beans. They are cheap and will last a very long time if kept cool. Chew up a couple of those (they’re a bit gritty, but not bad at all with the chocolate) and will give you that all important caffeine buzz. I have a good supply from Trader Joe’s.

  19. I thought I had remembered reading this article a couple of years back.

    I don’t think I could ever shoot anybody. I have no wife or family to protect.

    I have some non-perishables stocked up and other things to trade and/or give away but my strategy is to simply be useful to others wanting to survive. I feel I have the knowledge and skills to help people harvest water, grow food, build shelter and fix stuff — and just make the most efficient use of available resources to improve the standard of living during a SHTF scenario.

    • @Ag patient – I appreciate your attitude towards your fellow humans and I sincerely hope that nobody gets nasty with you…most people are good at heart, but there are those others that seem to follow the Hunter S. Thompson aphorism: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

    • “I don’t think I could ever shoot anybody. I have no wife or family to protect.”


      You still have yourself to protect and allowing yourself to get killed for whatever you have will only encourage this behavior with the next guy… who might be me.  I can see the moral high road argument here but there are many aspects of this to consider before making your final choice.


      I can’t say that I would be happy about shooting anyone either but would see it as a necessary choice in a him or me confrontation.  I will not shoot anyone who isn’t threatening my life or the lives of friends, neighbors, and family.  If I confront someone invading my house and they run, so be it.  The purpose of the confrontation is to get them out of my house and I will not shoot them.  I WILL call the cops, let them find the guy, and toss him in jail.  Hopefully, the courts will keep him locked up rather than let him loose to invade someone else’s home.


    • Hopefully my post was not interpreted to imply that I’m anti-gun or against defending oneself.


      I do believe fully with and have a positive view on ALL 10 US Bill of Rights.


      I even went as far as purchasing a handgun and a shotgun a couple of years ago after spending the previous portion of my life having never owned a firearm. During the last couple of years however, I tried to envision the situation where I might be faced with taking another person’s life and simply have not been able to justify it — especially when realizing that statistically, the most probable situation of someone breaking into my home during a SHTF scenario would likely be a father searching for food for his family (at least in the suburban neighborhood where I live) and thus I would not be able to shoot someone for trying to feed themselves or their family. Sure there are some wicked evil people intent on killing for the fun of it out there whom I could come across but those chances are far far slimmer than someone simply desperate to find something to eat. I just can’t justify killing someone for being hungry.

    • “Hopefully my post was not interpreted to imply that I’m anti-gun or against defending oneself.”


      It did look that way but after reading some of your posts, I figured that there was more to this than just that.


      “I even went as far as purchasing a handgun and a shotgun a couple of years ago after spending the previous portion of my life having never owned a firearm.”


      OK, many would see that as a good 1st step in defending yourself, but… how much ammo do you have for those weapons?  How often do you practice your shooting?  Do you run any drills when shooting?  Do you shoot under different conditions of light and weather?  Can you shoot quickly AND accurately at multiple distances?  Shooting is a skill that one elevates to an appropriate level for self and family defense via learning, sharpening, and honing those skills.  Proper gun handling is not something that one can pick up by osmosis.  We have to DO it often to make a gun truly useful.  Knowing when not to shoot is just as important as knowing when to shoot, IMO.


      “During the last couple of years however, I tried to envision the situation where I might be faced with taking another person’s life and simply have not been able to justify it — especially when realizing that statistically, the most probable situation of someone breaking into my home during a SHTF scenario would likely be a father searching for food for his family (at least in the suburban neighborhood where I live) and thus I would not be able to shoot someone for trying to feed themselves or their family. Sure there are some wicked evil people intent on killing for the fun of it out there whom I could come across but those chances are far far slimmer than someone simply desperate to find something to eat. I just can’t justify killing someone for being hungry.”


      Understood.  But you need to understand that food that is undefended WILL be consumed by others in a short time, putting you in their desperate situation as well as them.  If you have food stored that will feed you for a year, hungry people will consume that in a matter of days once the word gets out.  What then?  Camp FEMA Cafe?  Probably.


      As to who is likely to break in, they will not be wearing signs that show their intent.  He who is slow to shoot when shooting is necessary will lose all he has, including his life.  But then, hey, it IS your life to do with as you see fit.


      No, it is not a crime to be hungry… but it IS a crime to steal food that others have and need to survive.  If they can trade for food, then fine, go that route as long as they have something to trade that you need… even their labor at chopping wood, weeding a garden, hauling water or firewood, digging a well, etc. is valuable.


      This is why they used to hang horse thieves back in the old West.  A person steals a man’s horse, leaving him stranded in rough country, will likely cause his death.  Same goes for stealing a man’s food or other vital property during SHTF.  Remember that survival is not a gift.  It is won by those who are willing to do what is distasteful but necessary.


  20. @Ag patient   I completely understand your sentiments about using firearms against another human being.  Most soldiers never fire their rifle in battle and few ever shoot another person.   When I wrote my fire arms training manual I came up with 16 type 1 malfunctions.   The 16th one was the neuro-muscular one.   A person who’s life was in peril AND armed with a firearm is unable to connect his mental intention of firing the weapon and his muscles that actually do the mechanical job of pressing the trigger.  Or he does fire the weapon but aims high or low  in order to miss his target.

    I am not saying that you should  train for combat or create a mind set thatwould help train you to take action to defend yourself  or another but it is a skill worthy of study.

    Front Sight is a great fire arms training facility.  As a graduate of several defensive fire arms courses as well as unarmed combat,  I can connect you with them, give you a Diamond membership to Front Sight or send you my personal manual if you want to find out the particulars of defensive fire arms training or combat training.   I can connect with you on email or back channel to get you those details, while being mindful of confidentiality on silver doctors site.

    • @AGXIIK

      I’ll have to take issue with you over the statement you made that ” Most soldiers never fire their rifle in battle and few ever shoot another person. “Unless there is some non-evident understanding there, I’ve repeatedly read and heard that even in WWII, over 70% did fire their weapons and engage in battle. That would indicate that perhaps 30% fit your scenario. Not quite “most”.

      In everyone of us, there is an instinct to survive. While I could never imagine harming another person for any reason short of self defense, I know within myself that I’d not hesitate to kill another human that meant to kill or maim myself or another, where I could intervene. I’d hate that they put me in that position, but I’d get over it shortly.

    • Thanks for the offer AG. My cousin is a retired cop and he used to train new police cadets. He’s the one who suggested I get myself a handgun and shotgun for self-defense. He was also supposed to train me but both our schedules never seemed to work and over time the more I thought about it, the more I realized I would rather give what I have to someone than kill them for it … I just don’t own anything worth another human life. If I had a wife and kids to protect it would certainly be a totally different story … but I’m an older guy and alone so if it came down to someone breaking in to my home, I would just say here … take what you need.

    • @Ag patient

      I’m not going to be critical of you, although I think your philosophy is naive and simplistic. Those that would come to your home/property to take what you may have, will have evil intent. They won’t just take property, food, etc., but will likely kill you as well. A hungry person may come to you and beg for food but an evil person intends to take forcefully, what you may have. If I find myself in a SHTF scenario, my preparations will be for the benefit of myself and my family, my neighbors and friends. We’ll need our neighbors, for help and to watch our backs. It’ll only be fitting that we do the same for them. Outsiders that seek to violate us and our lives, will find themselves dealt with accordingly. If that means killing them, in self defense, I won’t hesitate.

  21. @redrubberball   I think you are correct in that regard. I glossed over the statement without reading it fully or conditioning it.  Thank you for noting the statistics and correction my comments.

    The stat that most soldiers do not fire their guns in battle was probably affected by the information that only 25% of the military personnel are sent to the field to fight face to face with the enemy.

    While all soldiers are trained to fight, most serve in other capacities than a front line soldier.  My father was a sailor in WWII, serving his full tour in the Pacific theater. He was a cook for part of the time but he also was trained to fire an anti aircraft battery  I never heard if he manned those guns.   My wife’s father flew bombers and a P51 in WWII but I never heard him say if he shot down another pilot.

    The one stat that did stand out when I was reading about the percentage of soldiers who fired their weapons;  only a tiny fraction killed an enemy combatant

    As for me,  having never served in the military, I think,  like most people who are aware of the potential for having to use a firearm in a crisis situation, we think in scenarios.  All of our training is designed for combat and self defense.  Anything else is a waste of time and ammo.

    I did experience a couple of situations in my early 20’s that involved self defense that in hind sight involved  incredibly stupid actions on my part that I would never dream of doing now. They are painfully embarrasing.

    No one was harmed but it burned two things into my mind.

    1.  Using a fire arm must be done with complete consideration as to the responsibility of being an armed civilian, the consequences of one’s action at that crucial moment and the lifetime of consequences that ensue from an action where fire arms are brought to bear.

    2. If  a person choses to arm themselves, they must have a predetermined line in the sandas to  when to take action and what to do in various scenarios.  If that line is crossed, action must be taken immediately and with full force  and then ceased once the threat is stopped.

    All the training I’m involved in today, both as a trainer and trainee, speaks to those two considerations.  Some of that is taught at Front Sight and some with the company I keep.

    • @AGXIIK

      I’ll just add that on Navy ships, the number of scenarios that must be dealt with are many and the crew and officers are all there is to call on. Each crew member has multiple jobs and could even find himself called on to fulfill others if there were casualties. For instance, during fire, damage control, general quarters-battle stations, refueling/rearmament/replenishment, etc. Then there are the normal watches or duty assignments that occur around the clock, in port or at sea, etc. It’s quite different than many realize.

    • I thought that was the duty of lime. Worth checking the price of lime to see if it’s worth stocking instead. Lime also has yard and garden value, both before and after SHTF scenarios.

  22. N.A.T.O. really did a job on Yugoslavia didn’t they. First they sent in Al-CIAda to start the fighting then bombed the hell out of Serbia when Al-CIAda lost.  TPTB shattered an up and coming European power that wasn’t in their gang. Turned it into like five countries, four of them in their pockets. Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo all fell into the hands of the Cartel. They decimated Serbia for their defiance.  Now it’s the Ukraine’s turn to be ripped apart.  The Donetsk area is this years Serbia. 

  23. Good review of 5/13 article.  Lady Ava n I fortunately have many preps and a network.  We have the past twelve months began accumulating pre-83 pennies for their copper and older nickels.  Aside for lighters, booze, silver, etc. this will be our first choice for barter.  Depending on your use of plastic, you can acquire up to ten pennies a week; over time this will add up.  If/when we have ‘the moment’ it will certainly be worth more than paper.

    • I pick up silver from time to time mostly for making colloidal silver which is an antibiotic bacteria cannot become immune to .

      It’s good to learn how to make it and more importantly how to use it.

      The article came out years ago on a survivalist forum and the most important thing is accumulating skills and using and perfecting those skills.

      Learn how to do home repairs and machinery repairs .all the books are available now but they won’t be in the future. So even if you haven’t the time now having the books now, is some what of a head start.

      It is equally important to practice with doing things your learning, so that those projects requiring special tools can be acquired now, and not be stuck with out them to complete a critical repair.

      Though in time many of the modern conveniences will eventually diminish , it’s those that can out last the unprepared that will have the better chance at survival.

      Learning how things work and knowing how to safely improvise or use an older method is critical in survival . I visit a bushcraft forum that many of the folk know 4-5 different was to start a fire .

      If you read the article there were folk trading for refiling bic lighters the general public would never think to do.  This needs to be done some where safe ,what’s the point if you hurt your self ?

      An often forgotten prep is safety gear , gloves and glasses helmets aprons shoes and so on.

      These things you should be using regularly any way .

      If you have a group , I believe in cross training as much as possible , it’s ok to have strengths but if that one person is lost for any reason the rest suffer needlessly .

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