What’s the Ultimate Prep?
What’s the ultimate prep? Cliches abound:
“The stuff between yer ears.”
“Security!”(‘cause you can only live three seconds without it.)
But let’s get beyond the timeless wisdom of the Cold War Survivalist and ask, “What can I BUY today that’ll do the most to increase my family’s survival in a total collapse of society?”
Based on the in-the-field wisdom of our Special Operations Forces buddies, the best answer is “a good team.” But you can’t buy a team… Or can you?
What if you could forgo your next three gun purchases (God forbid) and buy a group instead? Since you can only shoot one gun at-a-time — and since guns do nothing to produce food, build morale or give meaning to life — might it be a good trade to pass on buying guns this time and buy friends instead?
The biggest complaint I hear from preppers is that they struggle to find non-crazy friends who want to “prep” alongside them. Very few preppers succeed in building a preparedness community of any appreciable size.
My solution: go buy one (cheap.)
Here’s the truth: if you buy TWO things in advance, people will become fifty times more likely to join your preparedness group.
1. Food. 2. Water.
Strangely, food is the most important. Water should be the most important, but people don’t understand the critical nature of water.
“Hey. I have a well. Don’t you want to join my Zombie Apocalypse Compound?” In the normal world, people can’t imagine water becoming scarce, so access to water isn’t as convincing as it probably should be.
“Hey. I have already purchased food for your family to eat for a year if a Zombie Apocalypse happens. Wanna come hang out and do outdoors stuff?” That sounds more convincing for some reason. It’s still weird, but more convincing.
To be clear, you need to buy both food AND a renewable method of water collection for your preparedness group (preferably three renewable methods of water.) But, to kick your group into high gear, the idea of food, already in a silo, will be critical.
Here’s what it’ll cost you: $1,800 per twenty new people. That’s enough wheat for a year’s supply for ten adults if all they eat is wheat. Ten thousand pounds of hard red winter wheat goes for about $1,800 if you go and pick it up from the farmer or the distributer. You might even find cheaper.
Here are two very cheap ways to store wheat (and one expensive):
55 Gallon Drums
(Cheapest) Watch classifieds to find used food-grade 55 gallon drums. Buy them cheap, wash them and store your grain in those drums. Be sure to add oxygen absorbers or flood them regularly with CO2 to kill bugs and remove moisture.
Used Grain Bins
(Cheap) Follow Craigslist or the classifieds of a nearby rural area. Find a used grain silo and buy it. Put it in your yard or bug out location.
Plastic Water Tanks
(Most-expensive) Buy 1,500 gallon plastic, food-grade water tanks and bases (about $2,000 per tank, which handles about 10,000 pounds of wheat.) Flood them with CO2 every three months. Buy Here
It’s still a weird conversation: “Hey, come join our Apocalypse Club!” But when you show them the silo full of grain, you’ll see the wheels start to turn in their head. “What could it hurt?” they’ll begin to ask themselves.
No matter what you imagine, your friends and neighbors already know you’re a prepper. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not hard to figure it out from casual observation. Don’t worry so much about OpSec (Operational Security.) Your best security will be a bunch of people watching your back, so it’s worth the risk.
Here are a couple of other recommendations (from long experience) that’ll make your new Prepper Social Club a roaring success:
1. Don’t make it weird or political. If you have huge beliefs about politics or religion, keep those to yourself. The “club” should be fun and inclusive — more of a “let’s go mess around in the outdoors” sort of thing. There’s no need to demonize the government. That kind of talk doesn’t get anyone pumped about preparedness, unless they already hate the “G” and then you’re preaching to the choir.
2. Get together every couple months to do fun, outdoor stuff. Hunt together. Go backpacking. Grow a garden together. Chip in on a cow, raise it on a farm somewhere, then harvest it together. Make jam together. Include women and children (picking berries in the wilderness is an awesome family activity.) Shoot guns together.
3. Make fun of yourself. Make sure everyone knows that you get a good laugh out of your paranoia too. “Oh yeah. When the zombies come ‘round here, I’m going teach one of ‘em how to mow my damn lawn.”
4. Once you have a good-size group forming up and building friendships, then start branching into serious preparedness. Expand your food choices. Do combat firearms training. Start setting up solar power.
5. Don’t wait until you have the perfect Bug Out Location. You might be stuck with defending your neighborhood, which might also be your best bet depending on the collapse scenario. Don’t wait until you’ve built a compound. Start your group right away.
6. Run the group democratically. Sorry, even though you started it, you’re not the “Supreme Commander.” Americans don’t go for that, even if you own the land. Form a committee and rely on that committee to make most decisions. You might agree in advance that command and control would be simplified in times of extreme threat, but generally, the group should be run by a small, diverse, committee. It’s really your safest bet. The committee should begin as folks who’re already great friends and family. That basis of trust could, easily, save lives in a crisis.
7. Don’t focus on “skilled survivalists.”the Most survivalists are horrible community members. You want normal, competent people who get along well with others. The most dangerous people to your family, in a collapse, will be your own preparedness group. Choose stable, good-natured friends. Skills can be learned. A kind, friendly nature cannot. Competency in the physical world is important — don’t end up with too many mortgage professionals, mid-level managers or systems analysts. Plumbers, carpenters, skilled hunters and guys who restore old cars… these kinds of people can figure almost anything out in a pinch.
8. Buy extra food. In a collapse, if you have extra grain, you can probably “buy” any skills you’re missing. Doctors. Nurses. Electricians. You can even buy a defensive force, trading bread for defenders. After years of learning and playing together, your preparedness club will get more and more involved, willing to spend more time and money on improvements to your plan. When you get to that point, start thinking about what you’d like to do for the people who might, inevitably, show up on your doorstep.
Doing outdoors and self-sufficiency activities together can be one of the best ways to build a thriving, trusting group of friends. What could be more fun than planting a garden together or making peach wine with ten other couples? The best preparedness communities have fun. They genuinely like one another. Surviving a collapse of society eventually becomes a fringe benefit to all the good times, and good friends, you’ll ultimately enjoy.