March 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm #2182
There is big number of preppers who are alone, but want to connect with other like minded people in order to form some kind of group or plan for the time when SHTF.
If you are one of them (or you are part of some group that look for new members) what is your plan to find other preppers considering danger of telling wrong people that you are prepper?March 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm #2342
This is such a good question. I think, like many things, the time to find that group is *now,* not after the SHTF later on when everything’s chaos. I do know from all my reading that the ideal number for survival is NEVER just “one.” There is too much for one person to do (even just guard duty, you can’t watch 24/7 or you will burn yourself out quickly), so finding a group is quite important.
I have few family, and none close to me geographically. If SHTF hit the fan tomorrow, I like to think that my area (Portland, Ore., USA) is hippie enough that many people here are already preppers to some degree, just by the way they currently live. There’s definitely a sustainability vibe here, and that is a good start.
In fact, I think finding others right now might be best via simple observation. The woman down the street who’s about my age who also vegetable gardens and hangs out her laundry to dry in the sun is a definite possibility, because she’s already living to some degree with fewer socially-based resources than many suburbanites (such as grocery stores and electricity). Likewise, anyone whose back yard appears to be junky but at least somewhat organized is probably someone who finds alternative uses for items rather than discarding them and contributing to waste, so they might be a good bet, too. They have a mind geared to look at alternative uses and possibilities, and skills like that are very useful.
So that might be a place to key off of in the search. I don’t think I’d tell these people I’m a prepper, but maybe take the opportunity to get to know them (bonus: they are outside a lot, doing things like cutting down trees or tending their gardens or hanging the wash), so that if and when the time comes, while they may not be prepared in the same ways that I am, they will at least be more resourceful than most people, and likely have some ingenuity to bring to the table (mechanically-minded people, for instance, who are the very ones that currently annoy me by making loud noises while working out in their shop all day long ).March 25, 2014 at 2:30 am #2363
I work in folks’ homes all day long, and it’s usually obvious if they’re awake or not. I make it a point to do very good work & leave them feeling they got great value for their money. In times to come, I am sure this will work in my favor. I also pay attention when I’m at our local shooting range, gun/sportsman’s shows, local surplus store, Home Depot, etc. Having useful skills and using them to benefit your neighbors isn’t a bad idea either…If you see a neighbor working on something and you lend a hand a few times, you might just find a new friend, which is where community starts, particularly when they lend you a hand without you having to ask. I don’t always say yes when someone asks me for something, but if they are already doing whatever they are able to make progress on their own, then I usually am glad to help. For me, it’s not so much how far along someone is, but more which direction they are headed…March 25, 2014 at 9:00 am #2398
Good ideas, I always spend lot of time in observation of the people first, sometimes it is maybe too much but I don’t want to risk and say something important to wrong person.
Sometimes small things can tell you a lot about person, things like his clothes, or more obvious things like his hobbies and similar.
Yea Sootsme, nature of your job is great opportunity for recognizing preppers.March 25, 2014 at 6:15 pm #2878
In my line of work I almost daily come across people whom I suspect are preppers or whom are at least thinking about getting ready for something, After a while you can almost get a sense of it immediately. At first I was considering trying to find more for my group, this soon started to turn into problems however so we decided to”disband” and reform with a very small core of 5 leaders (1 designated battle commander) who are always in the “know” on all matters surrounded by an outer shell of junior members. Operation Security is always a struggle in our web connected world, there is so much temptation to post”gun porn” on facebook as well has have members brag about this and that, it can bring down any group. I now focus more on identifying other groups and trying to form loose affiliations with them in which never more than 2 people in the group are closely tied to the other group. Lately I have been coming across so many like minded people that I’m not sure whether to be optimistic that people are waking up or concerned that everything is coming to a head. A good friend once told me that you’ll know it’s coming when the people who used to talk about preparing become silent and those who used to call them crazy begin to prepare, in my opinion we are there. We are trying to affiliate with other groups for general protection and commerce, but be very careful whom you actually trust. One of my main concerns now is what to do when a group member goes rogue, or do to some moral dilemma raises problems over something that had to be done in a SHTF situation.March 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm #2997
Good topic so far. I like what magellan2004 ask what to do when people go rogue. Great question-
I have been actively looking to build or join a group in my area. I believe that a retreat is almost essential to success. I met a guy online at preppergroups.com and we shared a few emails and then met for a discussion. We have had several emails and a few more phone conversations. I then had a phone conversation with his son (grown) then a second call in which we decided to get the families together to see how it all went. My family and his son’s family got together for a little bowling and a meal on a Sunday afternoon. We are moving slowly and I think the only way to build trust is to put in the time. The problem I am afraid is time is growing short. The guy I originally met has roughed out a sort of “Membership Agreement” document that we have been working on refining as a sort of guide. It is all very rough draft status and seems to help with the discussion.
Here is the document: very general and very rough ( 1st iteration)- my comments are in red-
Thoughts on accepting members…Perhaps this would be a different document, but I would want other Christians that are like minded, perhaps that goes without saying, just a thought. What size group are you considering?
Property Owners and Participating Members
Property Owners are tasked with paying for and developing the retreat with infrastructure: a barn, cellar, orchard, garden, fencing, storage, some tools, equipment and animals. Owner will also participate intellectually, do workdays and preparations. I am not sure if you wanted this to be a complete list, but may want to add water and power issues- I’m sure there are others.
Participating Members are tasked with helping monetarily, intellectually, workdays and preparations.
Participating Members contributions will be:
Contribute $500 (or 50 extra work hours) towards retreat projects. Cash due upon tax return (by June 1st) or hours worked by July 15th . All participating members vote on how to use the money or work for the retreat. Is this per family or person?
Attend planning meetings as needed no more than once a quarter. Skype works.
Commit to become an expert in some needed agreed upon skill. They would provide tools, planning and training to multiply that skill within the group. Do you see this for everyone above a certain age- just adults or just head of Family?
At least eight 10+ hour group workdays a year (includes all family members)
4. Preparations (can be stored at retreat when needed) Thoughts on Group preps- like water filtering (if needed) or is that infrastructure? Group preps or individual preps for charity if any?
Medical and personal supplies for your family for SHTF. If you will need it you better have it. TP to Tylenol, toothpaste to Triple-ointment and bathing supplies to band-aids.
b. Bullets- I was talking with a former marine friend of mine and he suggested needing many more rounds. He indicated a standard patrol load was about 300 AR rounds and one could go through 120 during a single firefight quite easily. In fact he said as soon as they had contact, they would request back up and resupply. In his words “You don’t know if an engagement will last an hour or 4 days.
Weapons: full size pistol-40 S&W or 357 sig (250+rd.), Ruger 10/22 (250+rd.), Shotgun 12 ga. Pump high capacity ( #4 buck or up 100+shells), Winchester 30/30 (200+ rd.), 9mm pistol for conceal (250+rds.), AR-15 (500+ rds.) Are you suggesting these weapons per family or per person? A bit confused by the caliber difference for the full size and conceal- is this for ammo variety? I would also suggest a group standard- The 12 Gauge for instance- either the Mossberg 500 or Remington 87- a lot of them around and they are very reliable. Also, may want to consider a cross bow and a higher end air rifle or two for the group- quiet and good for pest removal
Goal of 6mo. and ultimately 1yr. of food stores for each family.
Julie Languille’s “Prepper’s Food Storage: 101 Easy Steps to Affordably Stock a Life-Saving Supply of Food.
Acquire 365 jars and lids per person. Makes sense now-
d. Any other needs… bedding, books, clothes, equipment, tools, silver, barter, etc. Do you see each family having pots and pans and such for prep of own food or more of a group type prep and meal- perhaps larger pots, pans and bowls would be needed. Weird idea, but it came to mind, so there it is.
e. What are your thoughts about group training as a part of preparation? As we discussed during our first meeting, I do not have a strong background in tactics, patrol and security related items. I do not know who all you are considering for the group, but it may be prudent to dedicate some time as a group to some level of training on the retreat security element. I tend to focus on my weakest areas. I am not talking about running through the woods “Playing Army” with AR’s. I’m discussing more along the lines of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the farm and its’ location, avenues of approach, where to locate an OP/LP and how to patrol. How and where to egress if needed. Anyway.. you get the idea.
1. Place to retreat for safety when the SHTF.
2. Be a part of a group with a plan, skills and preps.
3. Participate in growing a hog, goat, cow, chickens, a garden and orchard for your food now and once SHTF.
All of your items stored at Retreat are yours and yours alone. You may take with you if you leave the group. If SHTF, your items might be used as a last resort only if you unfortunately do not show up for 1 year. If you do show up, ever, you would be compensated at what you deem the value or your items would be replaced. I certainly understand your point here, but if someone does not show up for a year… I don’t know, something is bugging me about this.
Your son asked me a question during our first conversation about what I had in mind as far as an “End State” for my family on the retreat. Did I want to build something, live in the house, barn camper or what? I told him I had no idea as I had not thought that far out. I said that there are levels of survival and that I would be willing to endure most anything to keep my family safe. I did discuss with him that I had seen some thoughts on the subject in articles or books or somewhere along the way. One point was that if things were to get truly major long term “reset” type of event, then folks would likely not have anything to go back to. One of the articles had suggested that folks that came to the retreat, in the event of a total collapse would end up with a place on the edge of the property that they could build a house/cabin or something. My thought is if things get that bad, when the dust settled, there would likely be plenty of property available after things started to get normalized. Not sure if it is something worth addressing in this document, but it may be.March 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm #3031
I don’t go ‘looking’ for other preppers. I started to hold free classes at the local firehouse on different subjects; how to can, how to build a bee hive, etc. From those that come, actively participate, suggest other classes or offer to share a skill in a new class I have been able to meet a surprising number of people with useful skills (who knew – some are very talented!) that are local to me; and, from there, get to know them better further. Even if I wouldn’t want to bunk in with them it’s very useful to know who has what skills in your community.
Those that mention they have some ‘project’ they are working on/have coming up/could use help with: repairing a chicken house), throwing up hay bales, bush hogging a field, putting up the butchered meat from a hog – I offer to help if I have time. My pay has been more friendships and some pretty darn good meals! Now my drive/barnyard gets plowed by an assortment of local friends without me asking (for example), a phone call or two and a new friend comes that knows more about cattle than I do at this point, shows up and hauls them to auction with a smile and a wave.
Slowly I am having a much more clear picture of where I would fit, those that would fit with me in a SHTF type scenario.March 26, 2014 at 2:46 am #3303
I’ve talked with other militia groups in the area. One, as it turns out, was featured on the TV show “Preppers,” no joke. I stopped any communication with them REAL fast. Another group which I’ve met once, seems to revel in running around in army camo fatigues, shooting airsoft and having military ranks from the lowly private up to officers! I’m too old to put up with that nonsense any more… Besides, I’m far more interested in regular guys who are located close to each other, interested in a “mutual assistance” type of deal.
And for someone in the Southern California area (where people rarely talk to their neighbors about *anything,*), having friendships with other people where such trust can be possible, is damn-near impossible. So my wife and I understand that we’re pretty much on our own, in SHTF. My family- who believes everything they see on TV- thinks I’m nuts, and they’re too far away to help anyway…
This is the ONE aspect I wish we could change in a significant way, but at least we’re acutely aware that we don’t have any REAL allies, when it matters most. And in a weird way, that simplifies life…March 26, 2014 at 5:51 am #3436
For some background, I’m a bi-lateral amputee, age 64, and my wife is 71. It’s very difficult connecting with others of like mind when they are not sure that we will be able to carry our weight in whatever situation rears it’s ugly head.
I do understand their concern, although we have been around self-sufficiency for most of our lives, to include hunting, fishing, gardening, etc. So I believe we have something to contribute. Yet, when ever we bring up the topic they make their excuses and then they’re gone.
My wife and I believe that survival in our situation will be very difficult, and we will more than likely be short-lived without the help of a group or being part of a MAG. I’m very interested in any ideas y’all might have. I too, believe it will be best to put together a group prior to SHTF. Once it goes down and you decide to bring people on board, remember, you haven’t had a chance to get to know them. What are their personalities like? Will they do their share of the work? Are they trustworthy? You can’t know these type of things in a short meet and greet.
I’m not saying don’t take anyone in after SHTF, but I am saying you have a better chance of this succeeding if you plan and bring people together prior to the SHTF. I’m suggesting you will need to be especially careful and think this through, thoroughly.March 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm #3580
Personally, I wouldn’t go out looking for other preppers. I’d rather make preppers out of the people that I know already and can vouch for them personally. Maybe I’m a little too paranoid, maybe I have some trust issues, but I’d rather not let in a wolf disguised as a lion into my home.
I have found, however, that many veterans are of a similar mindset, and that can payoff big time for many.
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.March 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm #3670
Anika!! You live by me. Well, sort of… I live sort of near Portland (about an hour away). I never really thought of the people there as anyone who would be into prepping. Most of the people I know of resemble the “Portlandia” tv show.March 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm #3696
Bushrat, it would be easier for me to say “Oh don t worry, you gonna find way” but I am not gonna say it, because for you it is not so easy.
But it is not impossible at all. I already mention somewhere when SHTF there were few older guys in my group, we call them grandpas, and thought they were useless just because they were old for us. Later I found out that some of their advices were lifesaving. Those guys fight in WW2, one of them was resistance fighter, kinda of guy that lived and fight in the woods and eat wood bark because he did not had anything else to eat.
Every man have value, and what you said about hunting, fishing and gardening you definitely have more than usual values.
Try to make yourself more valuable, with more knowledge like natural healing (herbs), first aid, repairing things, or preparing for bartering.
Survival is not all about physical things and shooting, and even if it is, man who shooting from AK is very dangerous no matter is he amputee or not.
Contribute to group with knowledge and ideas, and yes making group prior SHTF is matter of thinking, after SHTF it is mostly matter of luck.March 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm #3699
hah Cool, Zak! Well I’m in the southwestern suburbs near all the farms, so maybe it’s a bit different here than in the core city. That show cracked me up, though.
Bushrat, for what it’s worth, I’d take experienced and knowledgeable “imperfects” any day. You have a proven track record in the face of adversity, and I think that is saying a lot. Like Selco said, I think when the time comes, it would be foolhardy to turn away anyone who’s got something to offer, so hopefully “our own type” might surprise you.March 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm #3760
I have changed many of my friends to either/and: 4×4 offroading, sport shooting, hunting. I have 2 now doing all, 1 in a few weeks doing all, several either sport shooting or hunting. And if you start real talking after a few beers, they all admit that they think that something could go wrong. They are no preppers, but at least they have quite good skills to “use” them after SHTF. There are imho no other ways in Germany to find other members for the “group”.March 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm #4326
I belong to another forum (I’m in the UK) and have met several preppers from there, I could if I have to work with all them but the trouble is we are all spread out across the country, so post SHTF I don’t see this being an option, most people in my area are sheeple and are not prepared and I don’t think many will survive a life changing event.
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