New to survivalism

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Quantrill, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Quantrill

    Quantrill Monkey++

    Help! For the past few weeks I have been listening to the news religiously. Last night it dawned on me, we are in big trouble. Food shortages, bad economy, lots of debt amongst the people, and a government that has lost it's mind.

    So today when I went shooping I picked up extra food and will do so everytime I go. We live in tornado alley so we always keep extra food but it is only enough to last a week but, I think I may need much more if things get hairy. I am really at a loss. after reading some postings here I have a lot of catching up to do. Where do I start?

    Let me tell you about my situation. I live in an apartment in a city of +100,000, have a wife and a 3 year old, have a crappy job that pays little as I was laid off a while ago.

    I feel I maybe a little better off than these city folk though, as I was born and raised in the country.

    If you were in my shoes where would you start? Advice please.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You've come to the right place for all sorts of hints and tips. Go into the general survival forum and do searches for the first thing you think of. If you are in a city apartment, the thing to do is find a place outside the city to set up a cache, plan on getting there with short rations, and do your best to get a jump on the mobs leaving. Plot several routes out. Feel free to ask questions as you go along with the preps, and don't hesitate to contribute ideas. Your best asset is between your ears. Good luck and welcome aboard.
  3. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    It seems to me that you have started. Keep your wits about you and don't stress, as your mind is your best defense in any negative situation.

    Prepare for your first emergency scenario - tornado. I would think that it would make you and your family have a better sense of security to have more than a week's worth of food and water on hand. You might also make sure that you have means to cook that food in case of a power outage (BBQ briquets or gas for your grill).

    Don't get overwhelmed - you don't have to be wealthy to be prepared. Buy foods that area easy to prepare and cheap, like Top Ramen will keep you from going hungry in a pinch and you can get those 8 or 10 for $1.00.

    There is a lot of information to be found here on this board - grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your reading - and an amazing group of Monkeys to help answer your questions.

    Welcome to the Board!
  4. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

  5. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    Oh, and welcome to the monkey.
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    First off, welcome aboard! Sounds like you have already taken a couple of the biggest steps, by the fact that you recognize potential problems (tornado ally and keeping a week or so of food on hand) and decideing you need to be better prepared for more.

    If you dont mind me asking, where abouts are you located? I know for instance here in western MO, Im about 50-60 miles from the near edge of KC and within 20 miles of 2 smaller cities but am on a small farm in an area where land is cheap and rent is real cheap.

    I would say that if possible, the best thing you could do would be to try to find a place to rent (or better yet to buy but know thats not always an option) with a yard or better yet a little acerage. Its not absolutely escential to start getting prepaired but the more ground you have the more options you give your self and if you look in some of the small towns around the city it may be possible to rent a house with a yard where they would let you have a garden and get it cheaper than the apartment and still be able to comute.

    Now even if that isnt an option, then to simply do just as you have mentioned and each time you go to the store buy a little extra and build up the pantry as you can. Haveing a means to protect what you have and your family is a real good idea since if you have food and the neighbors dont and you dont have a means to make it clear you mean it when you say no then the food wont last long. Dont have to be a $1000 assault rifle, an $80 single shot shotgun will do a lot more than a pointy stick both for protection and for hunting meat if needed (or like a lot of us just enjoyed).

    If you are into do it your self a LOT of money can be saved on meats if you buy it 'on the hoof' and butcher it yourself (I have done some butchering while liveing in an apartment, a place in the country to kill it and gut it and maybe quarter it helps but can be as simple as a conservation area or some such) and there are some butchering tutorials in 'Back to Basics' here and more available on CD from me and may soon be available on here.

    The biggest thing is just to figure out where you want to get to and the steps to get there and do what you can as you can and dont get overwhelmed. By all means any questions you have are more than welcome and theres plenty of knowledgable folks here in many fields to anwser them for you so just ask.
  7. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Welcome aboard. Start off by just buying extra. Instead of buying 2 cans, buy 4, or 5. Stop by Sam's or Costco and buy your canned goods by the case. It is actually cheaper by the unit. The best way to add is to add slowly. Place a couple of water filled plastic bottles or freezer packs in your freezer to help keep it cold in the event of power outages. Be consistent, and add what you can when you can without putting yourself in a bind. Start putting together a BOB (Bug-Out-Bag) with necessities that you can grab at a moments notice Seeing is how you were raised in the country, would you consider making a move back to a more rural life? I know that opportunities for employment are not always as good, but cost is usually a lot lower also. Not to mention competition might not be as thick for available jobs. Keep in mind that mental preparation is half of the battle. Think ahead of different scenarios, and have a contengency plan for each. Good luck!
  8. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Welcome to the board. [beer]

    If your going to stay put, I beleave water/waste disposal will be your biggest problems if things were to really go south. If your 3y/o is still in diapers then the problems will be compounded. Like Monkeyman said if theres anyway you can get out of that apartment then by all means that sould be prioity #1.

    If you can't get out of the apartment this would be my priorities

    1) Water storage.

    2) Food that required little to any preperation (DW wife will kill me for saying that [gone])

    3) Extra cold weather clothes/sleeping bags ( in case you don't have a way to heat the apartment.

    4) 1 firearm that your wife could shoot. My vote would be for a shotgun. IMHO if you can only have one firearm then the smallest person should be the that it's tailored to (tipically the wife).

    If you have what I would consider the basics covered. Then you could expand to other things.

    5) Water filter.

    6) A heat source like a kerosee heater that could be cooked on/boil water.

    7) Secound firearm.


    BTW if you could get a small piece of land then look at this thread.
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    One important (IMHO) thing I forgot to mention that a lot of folks get messed up with especialy if preping for concern of long term stuff they see as imenent is this STORE WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU STORE. Basicly a lot of folks will jump right into trying to store loads of rice (even though they rarely ever eat rice) and grain that they could mill into flour and all kinds of 'survival' food. They then find out that they dont use it and after a few years it goes out of date and they get rid of it and dont replace it because they get irritated with haveing spent the money and not needing it, like LOTS of folks did with Y2K. A better option (IMO) is to simply go to the store with your normal shopping list and as much as possible simply double everything on the list each time you go untill you have a sufficent surplus to carry you through for as long as you feel you would need (a year or 2 is about the max on this method for most things just for shelf life/freshness). Then each time you put groceries away just put the new stuff in the back of the cabnet and ust the oldest stuff first. This has a couple of big advantages, first and biggest is that your supplies are always being rotated so it should never go bad, you eat the stuff every day and use the oldest first and replace it in the back, secondly is the fact that a high stress time when the SHTF ('stuff' Hit The Fan) and you need the supplies you laid in isnt the best time to try to learn all new ways to cook and eat and also familiar foods will be a big comfort factor.

    So basicly just 'store what you eat and eat what you store' and always rotate your stores.

    Water will also be important if its a total colapse but for moderate things like a depression then in a city in particular water will most likely continue to come from faucets so at least haveing enouph for a couple weeks in case of a BAD storm or some such and ideas and materials to obtain potable water in longer term situations would likely work.
  10. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Welcome to the Monkey!

    All the advice that my comrades have given is good. Don't worry, the world isn't going to collapse tomorrow (I don't think anyway). Start with prepping for the tornadoes and figure out what you'll need and what potential problems you'll have. Search the forums for topics about those things, then move on to the next scenario.

    I'm with Monkeyman on the "store what you eat....." thing. Plenty of water and a firearm (and learn how to use it if you aren't good with it already). OGM gave some good advice on that.

    Take a look at what you need/use everyday and buy a little extra every time you shop.

    And start thinking seriously about a relocation or at least a bug out plan.

    Think about what you would do if:
    1) A major tornado hit your area
    2) Extended period of no electricity
    3) Food shortage
    4) No water

    Take them one at a time, don't get overwhelmed, and you'll be surprised how quickly you get up to speed.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Well said. Prepping is not something to jump into with both feet, too many things to consider all at once. Consider the short term needs first as applicable to your area. Start with the things that will get you in trouble. In my case (YMMV) it goes first (injury) second (water) third (shelter) fourth (food) and take small steps. Each step you take will get you self sufficient in one area of the art.

    The mental process is the most important. "Threat analysis" is a fancy term for figuring out what is the most probable upset to "normal" existence. The idea is to cover the bases in ascending order of probability. For example, you do have a first aid kit in your car, don't you? When SHTF comes, odds are it will be an auto accident rather than the Great Meteor Impact.

    Practice is fun, too. If you don't use the tools, you won't know how to do so when it is most important. Splinting a broken leg is a whole lot easier the second time than the first. (And the kids get a huge tickle out of role playing the patient.)
  12. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Geez, I forgot to mention one of the most basic and first things you should work on..... the first aid kit! Thanks, Ghrit.

    There are some good threads about stocking medical/first aid supplies if you do a search for it. I got mine stocked pretty well for free, thanks to a previous employer (giant evil corporation #7) having lot's of first aid kits lying around ;)
  13. groovy mike

    groovy mike Immortal

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]I agree with all above including that you are better off than your city raised neighbors. Don’t fret. You are already better off than most already and you have already done the hardest part (recognizing the danger). While the food and fuel “crisis” is in news lately. Most of us who have been watching the trends a long time see a slow spiral down of lifestyle rather than a sudden crash. The crash COULD happen, but a gradual rise in prices and increased shortage of goods seems far more likely.

    If your wife does not already share the danger feeling, try not to freak her out or let he think you’ve gone psycho. Tell her that you are stocking up to be ahead of the food price hikes that the news is talking about. But buy what you normally buy rather than freeze dried food packed for 30 year storage. Be sure to stock food that your 3 year old will eat, especially things that you can serve without cooking (crackers, dry cereal, canned fruit, etc). Pick up the most common over the counter (OTC) children’s medicine like Tylenol, and cough syrup. Think of the stuff that you would not want to be caught without when needed. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    The cheapest thing to do is to store some water on hand from the tap by refilling empty soda or juice bottles. You can buy bottles of water if you like, but it is cheaper to save tap water and rotate it as you water pets and houseplants etc. Stashing it in the freezer helps the freezer save energy too and who couldn’t benefit saving a few dollars on the electricity bill?

    Money is tight so make sure that nothing is wasted if no crash comes. You’ll still use the groceries even if all is well in the world. When buying gear think dual use. It’s not “survival stuff for the end of the world” it’s stocking up in case of a tornado, upgrading the first aide kit for the family, maybe starting a patio garden for really fresh herbs and veggies, camping supplies for the summer trip you’d like to take, and maybe some fishing and hunting gear you’ve been wanting. Ideally your wife will buy in to either prepping, or camping, or gardening, maybe even will end up buying you some outdoor gear for your hunting or fishing hobby.

    And don’t forget the toilet paper ;)
  14. huntfish25

    huntfish25 Monkey++

    i right behind you. my house is up for sale, i hope to down side and be out of deat in 5 years if not sooner. soon as i move i am stocking up. i planning have enough food to last for 30 days if not more. money put away where i can get it in 10 mins. away to have hy house running with my own electric power inf i lose my and my water from a well. i going to work on my vehical that can travel any where. i know what i want just have to find one
  15. Quantrill

    Quantrill Monkey++

    Wow, lots of info. To answer a few of your questions

    1. Live in E. Kansas
    2. Have a single shot 20ga my wife can shoot and a 30/30 for me
    3. 3 year old is nearly out of diapers.
    4. My wife has thought I was crazy for years (she would'nt notice a difference in behavior)
    5. Wife is a CERT member, we have lots of first aid stuff!
    6. I fish and hunt and have done so since I was old enough to hold a gun
    7. Can't move from city just just yet, but can go back to the country anytime (lots of family there, with lots of lands)

    Now questions for you!

    1. do I need to add anything to tap water to make it last?
    2. Don't have a lot of extra money will the guns I have suffice?
    3. Is there anyway to better secure an apartment with out pissing off the land lord? Ideas?
    4. If I have to leave, how much food and water should I take? It takes 1 hour to get back home during non shtf times. Maybe 2-3 days worth?
    ok thats it i'll think of more later.

    Thanks, Quantrill
  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    There are a lot of other options as well and Im sure some of the others will mention them but theres a few to give some ideas to start with.
  17. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I would highly recommend a small handgun that you can fit in a pocket..... and getting your ccw license so you can legally carry it (very cheap).

    Lightweight snub-nose 38/357 revolvers can be had very cheaply, Taurus is making some real good, inexpensive ones. They'll fit in your jeans pocket and pack quite a punch. Teach the wife to shoot it.

    Other than that, you're pretty well covered...... I do agree with Monkeyman on the 22 rifle thing. They are very handy for putting food on the table, and ammo is really cheap and easy to store lots of. A reasonable alternative would be a quality air rifle (good for rabbits, squirrels, birds).
  18. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    I'd add a Platypus water bottle or two. Stored empty it doesn't take much space or weigh anything you can fill them from a stream and carry them with you if you do end up having to hike it.
  19. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

  20. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    You guys are doing a "bang-up" job for Quantrill; a well spring of good advice.

    Originally Posted by Quantrill [​IMG]
    3. I s there anyway to better secure an apartment with out pissing off the land lord? Ideas?
    Realize if you lag bolt beams across the door to barricade yourself,you may want to think about getting out fast :( (fire...a simple weapon used by simple people with a grudge)..
    Perhaps a removable stop :
    2x6's or2x8 forming a "U" laid on it side set between the inward opening front door and an opposite wall.if possible, you get the idea.
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