I admit it, I had somewhat of this mentality when I first started prepping; I was single and had big plans…mountaintop retreats, underground reinforced conex boxes on cement pads, the whole nine yards. I was going to have 5 years worth of supplies, everything one could imagine needing to make it on your own for perhaps a decade or more, living the life of a solitary prepper, a one man army, set to be a monastery of one in the world of SHTF…..well I was wrong.
I have touched on this subject a few times in various podcast’s and articles, I spoke about it to Jack Spirko when I was a guest on his podcast as well…that being those who are “Lone Wolf” preppe’rs will die, or will die in greater numbers than those who embrace a community structure. By this I don’t mean forced socialist communitarianism, but free association with those around us, recognizing we stand together or fall as individuals.
Why is this?
I think we all can agree that early humans lived a much tougher life than even we may experience in the worst SHTF scenario, not only did they have to worry about fellow humans, the elements and dangerous animals, they had no benefit of modern technology to give them a edge or at least even the odds (by this I mean firearms, or the ability to store years worth of food, medical supplies, etc.)
They had It much harder, and yet they naturally banded together, why? not because we liked the conversation, but because it made sense.
Humans could then pool resources, some could hunt, some could gather, others could make clothing, tend to the camp, take care of the sick etc. This of course was no guarantee of survival, however it was a guarantee of a better chance of it.
The Lone Wold Prepper is under the spell of youthful naivete and romantic notions of the “fully self reliant” man (or woman). This is a romantic ideal that harkens back to the solitary woodsman of old, who lived by themselves hunted, trapped and survived on their own…however this isnt the full truth. Those men of old would then pile their pelts and wares onto a pack animal and head to civilization, to sell and barter them for the supplies necessary to their survival and creature comforts. Very rarely have you ever seen cases of men on their own who never need or contact civilization….why do we not see many of these cases?
Simple…They died out in the wilderness somewhere and their story was never told, because they were alone.
What Makes them think they can “do it”
There are a few schools of thought the first being the vast majority of them, the second being a small dangerous minority.
I will talk about the majority first.
These are folks who had the same idea as I did, get large amounts of supplies, have redundant power systems, weapons,etc. and place themselves and these supplies in an area as far removed from humanity as possible where they will garden and hunt without any contact.
This idea springs from a mainstream school of thought in the prepper/survival community, that being that our fellow human beings will be our greatest threat in a SHTF scenario. This is an accurate assumption, members of our formerly semi-civil society will be our greatest threats, HOWEVER this does not take into account the fact that the rest will be our greatest assets, and necessary for us to survive and thrive after.
I agree with them that, if you have the ability to, moving to a less populated area is a more ideal environment, however moving 100 miles away from the nearest house and town is also as great of a liability as being in downtown Atlanta. The reasons for which I will explain in a second.
The second group, a small minority, are those who have come into the prepper mindset, but are themselves predators, Im sure you have seen or heard of a few of these folk in your time on online forums, or seen a story or two about them (e.g. the facebook story floating around about a war vet who’s plan is to “hit preppers” when the SHTF)
These folks are worse then those who will do evil during a SHTF scenario, because they are already planning on it, they are not those pushed to the brink by circumstances, but sociopaths.
These folks will not last too long, if they do go through with their stated plans, for one they don’t know who the “preppers” are and most likely will just start robbing and killing people they feel are easy targets. This is all the more reason to have a firearm to protect yourself with, however these folks will find that statistics are not on their side sooner or later (hopefully sooner) they will come across someone who will show them the fallacy of their path and will put an end to their sick “dreams” with something copper jacketed.
So Why wont it work?
Well there are a plethora of reasons…
Defense- If one is going to try and get so far from humanity, it is not for the run of the mill hurricane or bad economic depression, it is for the whole shebang, things have gone completely topsy turvy. Regardless of how far you run sooner or later SOMEONE will come your way, humans will continue to move farther and farther out for pure survival reasons. Someday someone will come up your long driveway, and hopefully that isn’t while you are away, or while you are asleep and there aren’t that many of them. This is where numbers come in, you can have watch on your area and property 24 hours a day with just 2 people, granted it will not be fun, however it can be done. With 3-6 people, you are golden and can get some real things done with the piece of mind that comes from people watching your back. Now this isn’t just for the 2 legged kind, you also will want to have eyes on your gardens as they will become more than a novelty and a source of fresh food, but a survival necessity. Deer, rabbits and other herbivores would love nothing better than to get into your beautifully maintained garden. Once again…eyes 24/7
Information- Being so far removed from humanity will put you at a disadvantage as to the unfolding situation back in the “real world” lets say that the stock market takes a huge dive, things look bad, you head to your retreat and decide to stay their for the long haul. You break out the food stores, start your gardens, go out hunting and trapping and start to lay in food for the winter, etc. Next Summer rolls around you do the same, etc. Its been over 2 years, and then you hear a car coming up the driveway…you run out with your weapon and wait until they stop, you pop out with weapons raised and they take off, you get a shot off through their windshield and they speed off….You’ve done it, fought off your first scavengers….Next thing you know helicopters are overhead and 50+ Law enforcement personnel have surrounded you….You are now under arrest, turns out the guy you shot off was a local tax collector coming to serve you notice of two years past due taxes, the world didn’t end…You just didn’t know about it…
Medical- You have been surviving for a couple years on your own, it has been hard but you have been doing fine, things are working out just like you wanted them to, gardens are great, hunting is great, you have been reading like a madmen and enjoying life. Then you Smash your shin bone with the axe because you got careless cutting firewood. You dress the wound and put it in a splint, but it starts to get infected and the antibiotics you bought are just not doing the job, you now have to venture out to get help but you are in a bad way, there’s no way you can walk out of course and you are too delirious to drive. If you had been near other folks and/or had others with you, you would have been able to have someone take you to a medical professional somewhere. This isn’t a guarantee of life, but it is better than going “Into the Wild” in your remote prepper cabin (if you haven’t seen the movie, synopsis: a young guy takes off into the Alaska wilderness only to die of poisoning and rot in his sleeping bag until hunters find him later).
Relationship Capital- This is basically the relationships you build in your community, with those around you. You are there with them in this crises, you are helping, giving solutions and making things better for everyone, better than if you hadn’t been there. As things get better or worse, when you end up needing something, help in defense, bringing in a crop, getting something you need, trading, etc. You will have the relationship capital built up already, a level of trust a outsider will need. If say your generator broke and you decided to head to the nearest town from your remote cabin (also you wouldn’t have anyone up their guarding it) you will be a outsider, people wont know you, wont trust you and you may not be able to get that part you need, you may not even be able to get near enough to ask them. Something to think about.
The “Next Step”, What comes after- Like it or not after a SHTF scenario there will be a rebuilding, our job as preppers (in my view) is to be able to assist in this as well, to help build new communities and a new country, one that values liberty, personal freedom and all the things that humanity deserves as a god given/natural right. These are the things enshrined in our constitution, not as a gift or entitlement but as a recognition of a already pre-existing right. We need to be there to help out so that we can help form these communities as well as counter the propaganda of whatever tyranny decides to come and “save us”. If you are set aside from humanity you will not be able to argue, persuade or otherwise hinder this “de-evolution” and will eventually be put under the new boot that develops, no matter how far out you are.
The gist is, sooner or later, no matter how well you prepared there will be something you need, whether it is medical attention or a part for this or that, whatever, sooner or later you will need something. Murphy’s law dictates and as the saying goes the plan goes out the window when the first bullet is fired. Nothing is foolproof.
I agree don’t be in downtown Atlanta if you can help it, however building a cabin 200 miles away from people on the side of a mountain is not the answer, it is not a solution, it is a problem.
Being a Prepper is not about living out a fantasy It is about doing the rational thing, keeping yourself (and your family) safe, to maximize your survivability in any situation, going it alone does not do this. Of course you are free to do what you want, but I do want to dispel the notion that this is a viable and safe option compared to being part of a community.
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