In my last article I promised you an almost all inclusive list of the things you will need to survive the Second Great Depression. To do this let us look at some of the lists that helped shape the founding and backbone of this great nation for over two hundred years. Early settlers and pioneers on the American Continent had two lists. The first was: God, gold, guns and guts (some read gumption). The second list of our ancestors was: Bibles, bullets, beans and bacon. Let’s take a minute and break it down. God and the Bible both represent one thing; faith. Faith in something greater than yourself, faith in your Creator, the Creator of the Universe. Faith is a two-edged sword. You have to have faith in God and you also have to have faith in your God-given talents.
Notice the next similarity; guns-to-bullets. The primary reason “to keep and bear arms” was added to the Constitution was to keep government under control. Not long ago I asked my nephew if he was investing in precious metals and he responded, “yes, sir, I’m investing in lead and brass everyday.” I hope you take this to heart. If you can’t defend yourself, your family, your treasure from evil people, be they murdering, thieving packs of low lives or government goons or both, you are not truly free. Get guns, ammunition and learn to use them. More on that later.
The “guts and gumption” do not have an equivalent in the second list but I tend to think they stand on their own. It takes guts to go against the mindless masses, set aside part of your meager savings and purchase things that will cause your friends and family to ridicule you. The gumption is the motivational force that compels you to do it even when others make fun of you.
From the second list are “beans and bacon”. The early settlers traveled from the Atlantic shore to the Pacific coast with these two staples. With today’s technology you can purchased some of the finest food (nutritionally) that has ever been available to mankind. You must have a year’s supply of food for each member of your family put aside in order to feed them through a total economic collapse. In a year’s time you should be able to begin growing and preserving your own food. (Beans and bacon still work as good as ever)
Now, let’s get specific:
Water: You must have access to adequate and clean water. About 1 gallon per person per day for basic survival purposes. Bathing and washing are extra. I recommend you research your refuge area for reputable water well drillers, unless of course you refuge has unlimited water by being on a fresh water lake, river, creek or stream. Almost any water can be filtered and I recommend two filters. The Berkey Water filter ( www.bigberkey.com ) and the Katadyn filter ( www.katadyn.com ). As I said in Preserving the Harvest, buy the best tools that you can afford at the time. And, if you take care of your tools they will always take care of you. Water storage containers should be of clear plastic and hard, not the soft milk jugs. (I let my grandson drink all the soda and reuse the 2 liter soda bottles as water bottles.)
Food: is a need, just like water, but you will not need it as often, in the beginning. As a part of my faith in God, I have embarked on fasts that have lasted as long as 40 days. Hunger pangs set in almost immediately and by the third or fourth day are gone. You will not feel hungry again, if you drink only pure water, no tea, no soda and no coffee, until the thirtieth day or even the fortieth day. When you feel hungry again starvation will begin if you don’t begin eating soon. This should not be a survival strategy. Start with a 30-day supply of food for each person in your family. Then increase it to 3-months supply, then 6-months supply and then finally one year supply of food for each per in your family or group (remember this is the minimum safe level.) There are many storable food suppliers out there. I can only recommend those that I know and trust. That does not mean the others are not good or trustworthy, it just means that I have not done business with them, yet. ( www.usaemergencysupply.com ), ( www.augasonfarms.com ), ( www.shelfreliance.com ), ( www.efoodsdirect.com ), ( www.readyreserve.com ) also go to ( www.samsclub.com and ( www.costco.com ). Look under their grocery section under emergency foods/kits. They have some of the same suppliers but at greatly reduced prices with little or no shipping costs. If you are not a member, purchase the membership before you order and you will save more than the price of your membership on the first large order. ((Caution: I love the food and prices from Augason Farms but their customer service stinks. If you want to order from them, go through Sam’s Club and use their billion-dollar leverage to get your order straight if you need to. They are worth it.)) Also, if you do your own storage as I do, I highly recommend USAEmergency. They are top notch. I have never had a problem with them or their customer service and their cost per calorie ratio is the best in the business. Here is a bonus site and please check it out ( www.bulkfoods.com ) These folks specialize in the “spice of life” including candy, chocolate, spices and nuts/butters and honey. They are super quick, the more you buy the more you save and very, I mean very good chocolate, very good.
Shelter is the next category on your immediate needs list. Shelter will also include clothing. I told you in the last installment the basics of locating a “refuge”. You must put aside clothing, at that refuge for the climate of that area. To stockpile Bermuda shorts and bikinis at 10,000’ altitude in Colorado is foolishness and I only mention it as an example. Since my refuge is located at 7,500’ I have a lot of down (goose and polyfil) clothes as well as wool clothing. You must adjust your needs to your climate. In the next installment we will talk building your own refuge. Don’t forget for all you young and fertile pilgrims that have to plan on having a family clothing includes diapers. NO! Not Huggies! I am talking real cloth diapers. You will save tons of money over the disposable ones (I love saving money) and the logistics of disposable diapers is unbelievable. (Imagine trying to find room to store one, two or three years supply of Pampers. ‘Nuff said.)
Guns and ammunition. I place all weapons into three categories; NATO, non-NATO and sporting. NATO or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has standardized military calibers from 5.56mm (.223 caliber) to .50 caliber (the largest caliber legal for private use). These weapons, and their ammunition, can be purchased as military surplus with a cost savings in both weapons and ammunition. Also, it will be the same calibers the “bad” guys will use, and when necessary, (all hell breaks loose) you can take and use their guns and ammunition when they come to take your food. Which calibers? (5.56, 7.62 x 51 same as .308 Winchester, 9mm, .50BMG) Non-NATO are those calibers that have not been standardized, no longer standardized or were the standards of the Soviet Pact nations. Some of these may still be available as military surplus. Why is military surplus important? Because after governments no longer need certain “lots” of ammunition they sell them for their scrap value and can be purchased at a discount. What calibers are these? (.45 cal ACP, 30-06, .303 British, .30 cal M-1, 7.62 x 39, 7.62 x 54R) The sporting calibers vary widely. The most usable of these has to be the .22LR, or Long Rifle. I have taken many types of small game with this caliber and they are very accurate right from the box. Master this one first and you cannot go wrong. Pistols like the .41 Magnum and rifles like the .300 Savage and .35 Whelen are excellent weapons but unless you reload all your own ammunition they are not practical. You can’t find them now in the good times, you sure won’t be able to find them in tough times. The same with the 16-guage shotgun. Ammunition is almost impossible to find. Great guns but without ammunition you might as well point your finger and yell bang. Shotguns should be limited to 12 gauge, 20 gauge and .410 “gauge” (actually it is a bore). These are more common and can be used in several scenarios, including hunting and self defense. ((Please forgive me, I love the .50AE, .44Mag, .357Mag, and the .45Long Colt. I have enough components to reload many thousands of each but walk into Wal-Mart or anybody else and try to buy them over the counter in volume. It is hard to do. The examples I give are for the ease of use and availability, not firepower superiority.))
Gold and silver coins, bullion rounds and bars. All I can say is own them. One is as safe as the other in my opinion. I like U.S. silver coins and Swiss gold Francs. Personal preference, that’s all.
Fuel oils/petroleum products. You will need to store enough fuel for your vehicle(s) to carry you to your refuge, In times of a crisis, gas, diesel and oil may not be available at any price. Calculate your total distance to your refuge divided by your actual MPG of each vehicle you are taking and that is how much you need to carry with you. Get the old fashioned metal fuel cans not the newer plastic ones. I know, it sounds like overkill but do you want to risk your family and friends lives by having to walk 500 miles. Buy it, store, and rotate it. Here is a rule of thumb, the more highly refined the fuel the shorter its lifespan. No matter what you buy add a fuel preservative to it. Also, if anyone is considering purchasing a car, truck or tractor think diesel. I often use old hydraulic fluid and cooking oil that I get from restaurants to run my truck and tractor. Remember that in an emergency. Any oil will run a diesel. You will need cooking oil anyway for cooking. It may save your life.
Cooking and Lighting. In an emergency situation Coleman stoves are very adequate but not a permanent solution. (read all instructions BEFORE you use them). Personally I prefer my woodstove but regardless you will need to stockpile Coleman fuel and/or wood. For emergency lighting you cannot beat an old fashioned Alladin lamp. It puts out the same amount of light as a 60watt bulb. They are pricey but worth it. Buy extra mantles at the same time. I heartily recommend Lehman’s Hardware ( www.lehmans.com ) and the Cumberland General Store ( www.cumberlandgeneral.com ). Both of these stores are treasure troves of living off the grid appliances, tools and necessities. Don’t forget candles and flashlights.
Generators: Solar panels are the best for my area, which has the highest amount of sunlight per day average. Also, if you don’t want people dropping by when you are trying to live low key then you are going to have to muffle the sound of your gas or diesel generator. Wind generators are quiet and good, and I will make that my next large purchase, but the towers can be seen from a distance. Remember to refer back to number 6 if you purchase diesel or gas generators and stockpile fuel. I have two 7000 watt gas generators and will have 20KW PTO generator that attaches to my 50HP diesel tractor very soon.
Medicines, vitamins and supplements. It would be terrible to find the perfect refuge, drill the perfect well, buy 7 years of food for your family and then die of a stroke because you ran out of blood pressure medicine or oral diabetic medicine. If you have any special needs medication buy them in quantity. There are hundreds of sites on the internet where you can buy in quantity. Vitamins and supplements are extremely important because your body consumes large amounts of the B vitamins in a stressful situation. Low intake of vitamin B can cause problems that will affect you in many ways including cutting you reaction times down. It will also make you more irritable and less able to cope with the stress. Most drugs and vitamins, even though it is not suggested, are good for 4 years past their expiration dates. But to be sure check with your doctor or medical provider.
Hand tools for repairing broken equipment, building your refuge or gardening (and don’t forget open pollinated seeds. I purchase several hundred dollars in seeds every year and the bulk of that is through Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds ( www.rareseeds.com ). I have done business with the Willhite Seed Company ( www.willhiteseed.com ) for over 40 years. Many of their seeds are still open pollinated and of the highest quality.
Hand operated kitchen appliances, i.e. egg beaters, grain grinders, meat grinders, can openers, whisks, colanders, food mills, potato mashers, etc.
Bow saws, cross cut saws, Pennsylvania saws, buck saws, hack saws, meat saws.
Hammers, nails, screws, screwdrivers, glue, epoxy, solder & propane torch, nuts and bolts and any other fasteners you can think of.
Lumber for building sheds, outbuildings, houses, cabins, shacks, shanties, lean-tos.
Chap stick/lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, mouthwash, shampoo, bath soap, eye drops, nose spray, cough drops, Mucinex, Metholatum/Vick’s Salve, Noxema (great for sunburn), sun block. TIP: If you are an easterner or southerner and move to the desert southwest your nose will bleed for about three months. Apply Mentholatum or Vick’s a couple of times a day to keep the nasal passages moist. This will minimize bleeding.
Books, books, books. Books about survival, technical books ( www.lindsaybks.com ), books to escape the present situation, i.e. mystery, science fiction and romance novels. Also American History, Theology, comedy (I like all Patrick McManus and Erma Bombeck books). Any book that will increase your chances of survival and make life more bearable. (Brief note about Lindsay Books. This is a top notch provider of technical and survival type info. Lindsay doesn’t call his books survival but they are, i.e. cheese making, sausage making, making moonshine, planting a garden. Unless you are brain dead you will learn something from Lindsay Books.) The best online resource for books is not Amazon.com but rather www.abebooks.com . This is the best place and you can use them with complete confidence. I have purchased hundreds of books from the various online retailers and have never lost a cent. Amazon is anti small publishing houses and will omit books not offered by their “network”.
I recommend the following with a caveat. If a shooting war scenario breaks out because of a total collapse of society do not use make-up, cologne, perfume, scented soaps or shampoos and definitely no deodorant. When you go through combat you learn to use your sense of smell. The Vietnamese could smell us from a great distances because we ate too much beef. The last thing you want to do is give up your location because of Chanel No. 5 or Musk. On days when it is possible to relax and “dress up” in comparative safety, by all means use the above to make you feel a bit more “civilized”. Know the difference.
Entertainment: NO not video games. Monopoly, RISK, checkers, chess, backgammon, Battleship (you get the idea). Card games like UNO, Mille Borne, Rook, spades, hearts, Old Maid. Take this time to get to really know your family and bond. Remember the old section in the Reader’s Digest; Laughter is the Best Medicine? Well, it is and don’t be afraid to show your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren how to have a good time, TOGETHER. If we don’t do this for our families why do it?
Feminine hygiene articles. Tampons are okay but don’t forget about the old standard Kotex. They look and work the way they do because they were based on a standard issue battle bandage during the Korean War. Large cuts, bullet or stab wounds can all be stemmed with a Kotex and duct tape.
Needles, thread, thimbles, buttons, fabric, zippers and fabric patches to make repairs or to turn out new clothing. In the 50’s and 60’s (and before) it was the norm, not the exception. Grain sacks, flour sacks, rice sacks and the like were recycled into usable clothing. (To survive the Second Great Depression learn from those who survived the First Great Depression.).
Kitchen items such as aluminum foil (regular and heavy duty), coffee filters (and coffee) trash bags (they make great rain coats in an emergency), rubber gloves, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent (and a washboard or mop bucket with a wringer), matches (Strikes Anywhere is the best), clothes pins and clothes line, scissors, fire extinguishers for the stove/s and baking soda in the large box for each room in the house to be used as a fire extinguisher. Vinegar for pickling and also brushing your teeth and definitely stockpile hundreds of pounds of salt. After a shortage of salt you will move at a snail’s pace.
Batteries to match all you flashlights, radios (shortwave/AM/FM). Look into rechargeable batteries and use a battery charger than works on solar power or get an inverter and run one from solar cells or just by cranking your vehicle.
Tips: In a tactical situation you must think ahead. Disconnect the positive battery cable of any vehicle not in use. Modern cars and trucks have on board computers that will drain the life of a battery in just a few weeks. These computers, while they have power, can be read by reconnaissance aircraft. The same is true of cell phones. Run the battery of your cell phone down until is dead and then remove the battery from the phone. As of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (also called the 911 Act) all cell phones have on board GPS’s so that the 911 people can locate you in an emergency. If the government goes crazy, or crazier, the last thing you want is for them to locate you.
Get a copy of Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse by James Wesley, Rawles. This is a novel but as real as it gets as if taken from today’s headlines. It is a practical guide. Also, I highly recommend Unintended Consequences by John Ross. It is long, but very entertaining and may become an indispensable guide in the future. Also, get a copy of How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years by Howard J. Ruff. Get them at a used bookstore for one Federal Reserve Note or less. Mr. Ruff has been preaching this same message for over 30 years and is an expert in my opinion.
No, this is not an all inclusive list. I said an almost all inclusive list. These are basics. Many more items will be dictated by your particular needs, likes, dislikes, location of your refuge, climate and prejudices. This will give you, in conjunction with my previous articles, a good strong starting point. Remember, the human mind is the finest weapon and fastest computer on the face of the earth. It has to be kept sharp and ready at all times. And here is a piece of advice I learned from a talented man and I pass it on for free. In a gunfight, there is no second place winner.
Long live the Republic.