Survival 202: Surviving Temporary Anarchy

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Survival 201: Preparedness For Government Over-Reach

There are 5 signs that a society is going to collapse soon

  1. There are human impacts on the environment that change the surrounding ecosystem to that society’s disadvantage
  2. The weather shifts in some way to that society’s disadvantage
  3. The society pulls away from other mutually beneficial friendly societies
  4. The relationships the society has with hostile societies from their respective military strengths and the risks associated with those strengths
  5. The society solves their social and societal problems through deconstructive and short-term solutions

Though you can never predict when it will happen, it is worth being prepared

  • Stock up on a few essentials beyond the basic survival needs
    • Have maps of anywhere you might go, not just the local area
    • Keep a number of paper copies of any handbooks that may be useful
    • Keep seeds and gardening supplies if you have any farming skills
  • Don’t stockpile gold, since it’s impossible to break apart the denominations for trading staple goods
    • Instead, stockpile hard liquor as a commodity (whiskey, vodka, etc) which is readily tradable and will always be in demand
      • Unlike gold, it can also be used medicinally and to make some herbal medicines (vodka is especially good for that)
    • Cigarettes will also be highly valuable
    • Canned goods aren’t as valuable as alcohol, but will still be tradable
    • Gold and silver will become valuable once things settle down again, but not in a crisis

In any disaster, some things become extremely valuable, mostly out of panic-driven stockpiling by the majority

  • Food or anything related to food will be taken as quickly as possible
    1. Bottled water will always be the first to go
    2. Any liquor, especially hard liquor
    3. Any canning supplies like jars, lids, pressure cookers and pectin, and will go very fast because most stores don’t supply much of it
    4. Canned foods will be taken without discrimination
    5. Jerky and other long lasting meats will be taken, though there is more nutritional value in roadkill than a Slim Jim
    6. Any staples like rice, beans, wheat, flour, yeast, and powdered/condensed milk
    7. Any grains that are marked for human or animal consumption
    8. Gardening supplies like seeds, gardening books and tools
    9. General gardening tools like brooms, shovels, rakes, pitchforks, pick axes and hoes
    10. Grain grinders
    11. Since salt can preserve meat, it will be taken quickly
    12. Chickens, goats, cows, pigs and any other livestock will be hidden, hoarded, stolen, slaughtered, traded and sold quickly
    13. Local wild game will be caught and removed from the surrounding area quickly
      • If it doesn’t come from the population being culled, it will come from the inexperienced hunters scaring them away with noise
    14. Convenience drinks like teas, coffee, Gatorade and powdered drinks or anything else instant, ground or bagged
      • This will go fast, but not as fast as everything else consumable
  • Water materials will also be hard to get very quickly
    • Water filters, purifiers and bleach will go missing within a few days
  • Anything for making fire or a light source will be harder to come across
    • Lighters, matches (especially waterproof), flint and steel fire starters, fire pistons (handheld device that starts fire with air)
    • Charcoal will get stockpiled in any areas without ready access to firewood
    • Cooking oils will go quickly, since they can be used to make oil lamps
    • Candles, especially unscented
    • Any cast-iron frying pans, portable ovens or any other cookware that can be used over an open flame
    • Any hunting or foraging books will become extremely rare
  • Health and personal care items will go missing pretty quickly
    • First aid kits will go missing immediately
    • General paper hygiene items like toilet paper, tissue paper and paper towels
    • Over-the-counter medications like headache pills and cough syrup
      • Caffeine and sugar withdrawals will compound this in the first few weeks
    • Vitamins and herbal supplements, which can prevent nutrient deficiency diseases like scurvy
    • Personal hygiene supplies like shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, mouthwash, floss
    • Baby and toddler supplies like formula, cloth diapers, washcloths and cheap toys
  • Camping supplies will go very quickly as well
    • Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, mats
    • Inflatable mattresses and the hand pumps for them
    • Guns, cleaning kits, ammo
    • Anything meant to be a “travel” version of a home item
    • Flashlights, lanterns and glowsticks
    • Batteries, fuel
    • Hunting knives, multitools
    • Fishing supplies and fishing tools, since fishing is easier than wild game
    • Camouflage, hunting clothes
    • Bug traps, bug sprays
  • Many other common household supplies will be taken quickly
    • Plastic wrap, wax paper, aluminum foil
    • Anything else that can be used to improvise a shelter or fasten down anything
    • Clothes pins, line, hangers, washboards, plungers and mop buckets with a wringer that make life without a washer and dryer easier
    • Any gloves that can protect hands
    • Mice traps
    • Cleaning or disinfecting supplies of any type
    • Paper, pads, pens, pencils, sharpeners and solar calculators
    • Any non-gun weapons like pepper spray, knives, clubs, bats, tasers, slingshots and pellet rifles
    • Hand pumps & siphons for gas, water and oil
  • Hardware stores will be cleaned out of their more basic goods
    • Most non-power tools like bow saws, axes, hatches, wedges, machetes, hammers
    • Tarps, plastic rolls, stakes, duct tape, electrical tape, twine, nails, rope, spikes, glue, nuts, bolts, screws
    • Sharpening stones, honing oil
    • Lumber, sheetmetal, insulation, any other building supplies that can be carried
    • Car batteries, solar/gas/diesel/propane/kerosene generators, solar powered systems
    • Motor oil
  • More advanced surgical and medical items once hospitals, urgent care, and veterinary clinics are shut down
  • Any other “survival” supplies like gas masks or body armor
    • Survival-related and medical literature, especially for anyone who doesn’t know how to survive on their own
    • Portable toilets or toilet lids that will be used with 5-gallon buckets
  • Even if you’re not going to use something in the above list, take it as a barter item
  • Convenient things to carry and hold items
    • Wagons, wheelbarrows, carts, and shopping carts
    • Any containers that can hold gasoline or water
    • Insulated ice chests, which serve as baskets and protection from frost
    • Backpacks and duffel bags, though backpacks first since duffel bags are hard to walk with
    • Large trash bags (especially thick 55-gallon size) since they can be used for storage, moving things or collecting water
    • Every possible size and shape of bucket
  • A lot of clothes will go missing quickly
    • Cold weather clothing, wool and polyester clothing
    • Work boots, belts, blue jeans, thick socks
    • Any extreme weather clothing like raincoats or wide-brimmed hats
  • Bibles, assuming you’re in the US, where 80% of people identify as Christian
  • Animal control items like cage traps and dog collars
  • Bicycles and tires, tubes, repair kits, pumps, chains, since they’ll become the most efficient form of transportation
  • Motorcycles will be in high demand, since they are more fuel economical

Since many things will become uncertain, learn unconventional ways to get your needs met

  • Learn how to can food to preserve it longer
    • The container must be airtight to work, so use mason jars
    • You need extreme heat to seal the jars
      • Using a conventional oven is difficult because it’s unclear how long or how hot the cans get in an oven
      • Get or make a pressure canner, or boil it in hot water
  • Salt any meats you have
  • Get or make a spinning wheel with extra yarn

The way you behave towards others should change

  • A scarcity of items shouldn’t take away from the ability to discuss things appropriately
    • Contrary to movies, a person’s ability to politically persuade is more important than their ability to distrust
    • Though weapons can be useful for self-defense, the best fight is the one that doesn’t have to happen
  • In 1889, hobos were a friendly and enjoyable group of transients, and they settled on a code that anyone in a prolonged survival state should live by
    1. Decide your own life; don’t let another person run or rule you
    2. When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times
    3. Don’t take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos
    4. Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again
    5. When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts
    6. Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals’ treatment of other hobos
    7. When camping in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as badly, if not worse than you
    8. Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are camping
    9. If in a community camp, always pitch in and help
    10. Try to stay clean, and wash up wherever possible
    11. When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal risks, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member
    12. Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard
    13. Do not allow other hobos to molest children; expose all molesters to authorities. They are the worst garbage to infest any society
    14. Help all runaway children, and try to inspire them to return home
    15. Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday
Next: Survival 203: Prolonged Economic Collapse