“The first rule of SHTFshool is…”
Seriously, though, blending and pretending to be one out of a dumb sheeple type is getting easier, the more I learn about _real_ stuff. There is some, very dangerous, element of “Machismo” to all these survivalist topics and amount of irresponsible showing off was the reason I stopped frequenting shtfplan.com and similar sites (Alex Jones, Rawles etc etc). I do not believe it is completely possible to blend in, without actually watching those dumbifying TV shows, eating junk foods and rooting for Nascar Because “they” will question you on those “important” topics and will realize _you_ are faking. The easiest, probably, would be, as the times are getting detectably worse, to join some kind of local church community, read and “meditate” on their “Holy Books”, so that it will be much easier to explain, that yours (and theirs) current Deity of choice does not recommend or just plain prohibits particular activities (watching TV, rooting for Nascar etc) :-))))))
Lack of machismo was the reason I mostly spend time at Selco’s and Ferfal’s portals these days.
I used to have a comparably expensive charger for rechargeable batteries, after few years of reliable service a pair of inexpensive NiMH batteries unexpectedly put an end to it. I was lucky to be in the room at the time and to sense that nasty toxic smoke of a melting plastic. I cannot repair that La Crosse Tech charger, and suddenly I realized I do not want to buy its expensive replacement anymore. I’ll go ahead with a cheap Harbor Freight (or WalMart) one, and also use regular batteries more frequently from now on (and will frequently check, that they do not leak).
I plan to simplify my life (and thus blend more with those people who may not have those expensive or hard to find electronic toys for survival) and I am also thinking about, that instead of preparing materially and hoarding stuff which may break pretty soon, I would have to invest in learning new skills (tying numerous types of useful knots is on my short list). Despite of what I just said, I’ll continue buying small useful items w/long shelf life from time to time – inexpensive lighters, flints, condoms, nail trimmers, quality underwear and socks (that I can wear myself), in line with Selco’s recommendation for barter trade during SHTF.
In short – I do not think there is an easy and effective way to “blend”… To hide and pretend for sometime – perhaps, earlier or later everybody prepared will have to face the merciless intruders and it will be time to act or suffer and or/die. Or to act and still suffer and/or die, as Yogi Berra would say: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
P.S. I pretend to be your next neighbor cheap redneck by putting out small handful of empty bottles and/or cans from cheap beer for recycling each and every week (that I actually drink, it’s not that bad!)