10 Prepping Mistakes That Could Get You Killed (And How To Avoid Them)

This informative article has been contributed by Survival Pulse.

prep-checklist

Everyone that is into prepping is doing it for a good reason, to increase their chances of survival. However, there are a number of simple mistakes that can actually make you LESS likely to survive than if you didn’t prepare at all.

In no particular order, here they are, 10 prepping mistakes that could get you killed:

1. Having a false sense of security.

Just because you can put some holes in a target downrange doesn’t make you safe when shtf. Having a false sense of security could make you ignore danger that you would have otherwise responded to.

How to Avoid it: Do not underestimate your enemy! No matter how good you are, there are more dangerous and better trained people out there prepared to take what they want without asking.

2. Failing to get immediate family on board.

You are not a lone ranger. You are not good enough to protect your group alone. What if you get hurt, sick, or worse? Will your crew be able to pick up the slack. If your spouse looks at you like you are nuts when you talk about prepping, this one is for you.

How to Avoid It: Make sure your family has the basic skills and not just you. It’s better to have 2-3 knowledgeable people than one super prepper.

3. Ignoring the “boring” prepping areas.

We all know about the fun areas of prepping. Guns and ammo, bug out bags, food stockpiles, etc. However, without things like a steady supply of water or first aid skills, you could be out of the game within hours when shtf.

How to Avoid it: Make a point to spend time on all the critical prepping areas, even if they aren’t fun.

4. Never actually using you preps.

Probably the most common one on the list. Buying a bunch of crap and never even using it. I’ve seen it with everything from food, survival kits, and even guns. If you cannot act quickly and are not skilled with your gear, you might as well give it away or sell it when the time comes.

How to Avoid it: Be a prepper, not a hoarder. Use the gear that you buy until you are comfortable with it.

5. Falling in love with your plan.

If you have a plan, you are at least a few steps ahead of the game already. However, it’s extremely unlikely that your plan is perfect for every disaster. Being unwilling to deviate from your plan could easily get you killed.

How to Avoid It: Have a plan and practice it, but always have a backup plan. When practicing your plan, throw in a curve ball or two that make you improvise and think about what you would do if part of your plan failed.

6. Telling acquaintances about your preps.

The people that pose the greatest danger to you are your acquaintances. While they seem like decent friends now, that will all quickly change. Believe me, when people start to get hungry, thirsty, and angry, your “friendship” will be the last thing on their mind.

How to Avoid It: Only tell people you trust completely about your preps. If it is not someone that you would trust with your life, they are a potential threat when shtf.

7. Buying large amounts of preps at once.

It should be obvious by now the government is spying on everything you do. Buying a ton of preps from anywhere all at once is not a great idea, but especially when using a credit card or dealing with companies that are in the governments pocket.

How to Avoid It: Pay with Cash when possible and only do business with companies that respect your privacy. Explore alternate payment methods online with prepper friendly companies.

8. Ignoring OPSEC.

Preppers that wear military style clothing or fortify their homes in a way that is visible from the exterior can be doing more harm than good. Things like generators and barbed wire in areas where it is typically uncommon will make others think that you have something worth hiding.

How to Avoid It: Check out some of these articles about OPSEC . Be discreet when fortifying you residence. Make your place look as boring as possible from the outside yet very difficult to gain entry. Keep your visible preps to a minimum or move to an area where it doesn’t raise eyebrows.

9. Completely depending on your preps.

So you got a new AR, 1000 rounds of ammo, and 6 months worth of food and water. That’s great, but what happens if a natural disaster or a fire takes out your supply. Do you have an alternate plan to stay alive?

How to Avoid It: Keep it real. If the shtf, all the preps in the world are only going to give you an edge. Try have some preps spread across different locations or caches just in case something goes wrong.

10. Trying to do it all.

You will never be completely prepared for every scenario. Trying to do this will only result in burnout and may even make you think about giving up.

How to Avoid It: Focus on what you already know until you become proficient at it. Prep for the most likely shtf scenarios first.

Originally posted at SHTFplan.com.


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SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

When Prepping Just Isn’t Enough

cabin in the woods

There’s a sense of urgency in the prepping community lately that is at an all time high. Between the global elite warmongers, the impending financial collapse as the government makes plans to attach pension funds, the new viruses, Monsanto’s GMO seeds running amok and threatening the world’s food supply, and  Big Food’s toxic food-like substances in the grocery stores with no regard for actual nutrition, it is clear that we are going downhill fast. The soothing ”everything-is-just-fine” propaganda is so blatant that even the most die-hard zombie is beginning to see that something is amiss and that a massive change is soon to take place.

Many of us have stocked our homes to the rafters with beans, rice, bullets, and band-aids.  Each trip to the store adds more to our stockpiles as we try to get what we need before time runs out.  Newbie preppers are feeling even more frantic, wondering how to prepare when each week it takes more money to put less in the grocery cart. (If you’re new to preparedness, here’s a little primer with some great links.)

With the situation looking more grim by the day, it is very clear that stockpiling is not enough.  No matter how many cans of green beans you have stored away, one day they will run out.  We have become so dependent on the “buy it as you need it” lifestyle that despite our food storage, there are still gaps that must be filled.

And the only way to fill these gaps is through that which is a step beyond prepping….self sufficiency.

Self sufficiency is  defined as the ability to provide for oneself without the help of others.  No amount of stockpiling gives you true self sufficiency.  It is a combination of skills, supplies, attitudes and habits that mean the difference between a person with a great pantry and a true survivor.

Self-sufficiency is for…

  • The day the grocery stores close their doors or become so expensive that people cannot afford to shop
  • The day that the FEMA Camp gates open in only one direction
  • The day that the banks go on an indefinite holiday, after draining depositor savings accounts and pension funds
  • The day that electricity and heat on demand become so expensive that only the wealthy can afford them
  • The day that medical care no longer exists for the average person, or is directed by government death panels
  • The day that a natural disaster or false flag locks down the country and completely, irrevocably changes our way of life

The list could go on and on.  These things are hurtling towards us and we must be ready.  Self sufficiency, unlike prepping, doesn’t cost a lot of money – it’s about planning and acquiring basic skills and tools.  It is about putting your plan into practice before you have no other option but to do so.

What would you do if you could never go to a store again? If you could never have utilities provided by a supplier again?  What if you were truly on your own, forever?

For some situations, prepping just isn’t enough.  If you don’t have plans for the following, you cannot consider yourself to be truly prepared.

Water

Clean drinking water is one of the most important requirements for survival.  Now is the time to figure out how you will get water if your stored water runs out.  Some ideas might be:

  • Rain barrels (which are beginning to be illegal in some states)
  • Less obvious water collection containers like pools and ponds (don’t forget the roof if you live in an apartment building
  • Water purification methods
  • Locate nearby lakes, rivers and streams
  • Wells (including non-electric pumps)

Food production

Many people believe that they will just be able to stick some seeds in the ground and feed their families year round.  It isn’t that easy. You can only learn the foibles of your bit of ground through trial and error.  It takes a lot more veggies than most people think to feed a family for a year.  Anything from a blight to bad weather to a horde of hungry bunnies can wipe out all of your hard work and leave you without a bite to store away. Look into some of these methods:

  •  Gardening in your backyard or on a balcony
  • An aquaponics or hydroponics system
  • Raising chickens and other micro-livestock
  • Sprouting
  • Hunting and foraging (a nice supplement to your diet but a risky plan for long term survival when everyone else has the same idea)
  • Full-scale farming
  • Rooftop gardening
  • Greenhouses and cold-frames

Food preservation

Not all of us are lucky enough to live in a place where we can grow food outdoors all year long.  For the rest of us, food preservation is a lifeline in the winter.  A few basic supplies and tools are needed.  Just like food production, it’s important to practices food preservation and work out the kinks now, while you still have moderately affordable groceries as a back up.  As well, this allows you to rely on healthy, non-GMO foods instead of the inexpensive, highly processed garbage at the stores.  Learn the following skills:

  • Canning
  • Freezing
  • Dehydrating/drying
  • Pickling
  • Fermentation
  • Salting and curing
  • Root cellaring

Reduce dependence on utilities

Whether you live in the country or in a high-rise apartment, you need to take steps to reduce your dependence on electricity at the flip of a switch, water from the tap, heat from the thermostat, and cooking at the turn of a dial.  As the divide between the rich and the poor widen, there could one day be a choice between food and electricity.   Your priorities are:

  • Water
  • Sanitation
  • Heat
  • Electrical power
  • Lights
  • Refrigeration or other method of safe food storage
  • Cooking methods

Every situation is unique so start now to amass the necessary tools to meet your needs should the lights go out on a long term basis.

Personal defense

This is the sticking point for many people. But if you can’t defend your supplies, your home, and your garden, you don’t really have them at all – you are just using them until someone better armed or tougher comes and takes these things away from you.  Look at Argentina’s economic collapse as an example of what could happen – violent crime there increased by 35% in one year.  One study went so far as to call property crime a tool of redistribution: ”Overall, these results suggest that property crime has been used as a redistributive tool for the poorest to compensate for their impoverishment during the last decade and in particular during the ultimate crisis in Argentina.

Some solutions for personal defense:

  • Arm yourself and learn to use your weapon of choice
  • Stock up on ammo while it is still available
  • Have secondary methods of defense in which you are proficient
  • Learn basic hand-to-hand self-defense skills

Home security

Not only should you be prepared to defend your home, but you should try to avoid the fight in the first place by securing your property.

  • Make your property less accessible by fencing it
  • Install heavy doors in reinforced frames
  • Install sturdy brackets to hold a bar in place on either side of the doors
  • Growing thorny inhospitable plants under windows and on fences
  • Place alarms on windows and doors
  • Install security cameras (even if they are fake and just have a blinking light)
  • Keep a low profile – if no one else has lights or power, cover your windows thoroughly so that they cannot see that you have them
  • Don’t be ostentatious – keep your property looking similar to everyone else’s in your neighborhood
  • Keep all windows and doors securely locked
  • Consider the potential necessity of standing  watch in shifts if the situation has thoroughly devolved

Change your perspective on finances

Devastating financial changes are coming to a location near you.  Wouldn’t you prefer to make the cuts now and adjust accordingly, instead of having them forced upon you through evictions, foreclosures, repossessions, and other painful methods? Making some difficult changes now can provide a stable standard of living in a world that is going downhill at breakneck speed. By decreasing your monthly output, you can hang on to necessities.

  • Redefine what necessities mean to you
  • Get your money out of the banks
  • Convert fiat currency to tangibles like seeds, ammo, food, medical supplies, real estate, and  precious metals
  • Don’t be in debt
  • Reduce your monthly expenditures to the bare minimum
  • Spend more time at home 
  • Learn to enjoy productive hobbies
  • Prepare for a potential barter-based economy – what skills do you have that could be traded for essential goods and services?

The economic collapse is not some far-fetched, end-of-the-world fantasy. It is the reality that is occurring all around us, incrementally.  The collapse that has been occurring since 2008 has been one of 1000 small cuts as income goes down and expenses go up.

No matter how much food you buy, it may not be enough to get you through these difficult times.  You must learn to be self-sufficient in order to remain free from the control of those who would offer you sustenance and shelter in return for your fealty.

Instead of a huge, life-changing calamity, consider that it may be the culmination of many small events, rising prices and lower incomes, and the deliberate erosion of our self-sufficiency by those who would control us that cause TEOTWAWKI. (The End Of The World As We Know It).

The lists above aren’t comprehensive – they are  jumping off points to apply to your own situations.  Wherever you are planted, you need to come to grips with the fact that the world as we know it is undergoing massive changes.  Figure out now how to make the best of it and not only survive with your family, but thrive.

Ask the people in Greece whether they regret not having stocked up on food supplies when those items were abundantly available.  Ask the people in Argentina whether they feel the need to be armed against roving gangs and home invaders.

Hunger, cold, crime and fear are the daily realities in many countries that once enjoyed a similar standard of living to that of the average North American.  Our debt-based standard of living is unsustainable, and you must be able to connect these trends with what is happening in your own country in order to see the need for preparation.

Today, you still have stores at every corner, reliable utilities, and social safety nets in place.  These may soon become a thing of the past and if you wait before preparing, your window of opportunity may slam shut.

I’m not suggesting that you stop prepping – your stockpile is vital insurance that can help to  cushion you when things go downhill. But along with your food storage and your rocket stoves and your medical supplies, begin creating a self-sufficient lifestyle that will carry you far beyond what mere prepping ever could.

depression garden

Please feel free to share this information in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Prepare for Disaster by Owning Precious Metals

Silver bars Owning Precious Metals for Survival

If you have been alive in the past few years it is no secret that disasters can happen within the blink of an eye. Whether it be a natural storm or military invasion, the need to be prepared for anything is evident all around us. While your typical disaster preparation might consist of securing shelter and enough food to last you an undisclosed amount of time, the need for precious metals such as gold and silver might not be so obvious.

In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a person who is equipped to survive disaster who would consider precious metals a necessity to purchase. The fact of the matter is that gold and silver have been valuable for thousands and thousands of years, whereas your paper money has not. If a disaster were to ever happen, the value of your paper money would go right out the window because, at the end of the day, it is just paper. Gold and silver are two great resources for securing and storing your own wealth, especially in the face of a disaster. The simple fact that the scarcer something is, the more value it has, should be ringing through your head. Once disaster strikes, don’t be caught without precious metals as they will likely be incredibly beneficial for you. To fully understand the need to own precious metals, you must first understand the basics about buying gold and silver. These will be discussed in the following few sections

Coins vs. Bars

Silver CoinsThe most basic difference in precious metals is the difference between gold and silver bars and coins. While you may be aware that both exist, they are incredibly different entities, even if the weight and purity levels are the same. Precious metals coins are used as currency in countries and are only able to be produced domestically in the country where they are valued as legal tender. Bars, however, are not legal tender and are produced by a variety of privately owned mints from all over the world.

Since coins are produced only by the government of a single nation, they are much rarer and harder to find than bars that can be produced just as easily in Asia as they can in Europe, and so on. The price and value of a coin, while it is determined by the amount of gold or silver in it, is also decided by just how scarce the coin is. Bars are produced in abundance and while they do come from different companies, a 1 ounce gold bar is a 1 ounce gold bar regardless of who produced it. For your disaster preparation needs I would suggest that you invest in gold bars as they can be found, resold, and bought for less money than most coins. Bars, like coins, come in all shapes and sizes so it is vital that you only make a purchase that you can afford.

Timing Your Buys

Time to Buy SilverLike stocks on the stock market, the spot value of gold and silver is always changing. Sometimes the value goes up and sometimes it goes down, that is just the nature of the beast. Your challenge, however, is to purchase your lot of gold or silver when the spot value of the metal has taken a momentary dip. If you buy precious metals when their values are too high, you run the risk of losing money shortly after your purchase.

While gold and silver may move up and down in the short-run, these metals have almost always been on the rise in the long-run, which is why they are viewed as such safe investments. By making a purchase when the price of gold or silver is down relative to its recent numbers, you are not only making the most of your money but also giving your investment the opportunity to grow in value.

Where to Buy

Now that you know what to buy and when to buy it, the next thing we must look at is where you can purchase gold and silver bars and coins. The most classic, old-fashioned way of purchasing precious metals is to seek out your local coin shop and make a purchase from them. This is a fine way of going about things so long as you are in an area where coin shops are. Some people are not so lucky and would have to end up travelling quite a distance to the closest coin shop in order to make a purchase, and that’s assuming that they even have the item you are looking for in stock.

With the advance of the Internet and e-commerce, buying gold and silver online is quickly being the most attractive way to purchase. Not only do you not have to leave your house in order to buy the metal, it is then delivered to your door at your convenience. If you have no idea where you can go about buying gold or silver online, that is OK, because wheretobuysilver.com is an all-inclusive resource which shows you only the best online dealers. It is hard to know who to trust on the Internet, but wheretobuysilver.com makes it just a little bit easier.

Guest Article By: Michael Wilaski

The Top Seven Myths of Prepping

Preppers Universe’s take on the Seven Myths of Prepping

How to be Prepared

There are a lot of myths, misinformation and stereo types when it comes to prepping and preppers.  In this article, I will be discussing the top seven myths about prepping.  Understanding these myths are important because your knowledge could mean the difference between surviving and helping others survive around you.  The key- understand the true meaning of being prepared.

Myth #1: It’s too expensive!Prepping is too Expensive

Prepping does not have to be expensive. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars on a years supply of MRE’s for you’re family.  The key is to start small and gradually build your preps over time.

Granted, if you spend too much time and effort prepping, the end result is a change to you’re lifestyle.  You will need to balance the changes needed for prudent preparations within reasonable limits.  There are a lot of options with prepping and many of them are not expensive.

You should start with an emergency 72-hour kit.  They are fairly inexpensive and for a few hundred dollars you can have a really nice kit.  Read The Preppers Universe Guide to 72-Hour Kits for more info.

Myth #2: Prepping takes too much time!

Myth - Prepping takes too much time!Many people have seen the TV show “Doomsday Preppers” and have a perception that in order to be a prepper means you have to dedicate you’re life to it.  This is not true, you do not need to change you’re lifestyle at all.  Prepping only takes couple of hours per month if done correctly.  The time you spend prepping is minimal considering the consequences of doing nothing.

The key is to have a plan and enough supplies to sustain you’re family during a disaster.  Lets face it, we live in a chaotic world and we need to be prepared and sustain our families and friends when things go south.  One only needs to look at what happened to the poor people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to understand the importance of prepping.  A couple of hours per month is all you need to prep for survival.  Get rid of any notions that tell you otherwise.

Myth #3: Prepping takes up to much storage space!

food storage shelvesMany people believe they don’t have enough room to store their provisions.  Prepping for a disaster does not need to be complicated and anyone can find the space to store a little extra supplies.

For example, my garage was filled with crap I didn’t use anymore.  I simply got rid of stuff I did not need and made room in the corner of the garage to store my emergency supplies.  The common areas most people forget about are attics, basements and closets.  You can use these locations to store junk or items you don’t use that often.

Always store emergency provisions in a location easily accessible during a disaster.  They must be accessible even if you’re house is inaccessible.  I personally store my provisions in the garage near the roll up door.  It would be easy to get to even if I could not enter the house.

Myth #4: You need a bug out location or retreat!

Missile Silo BunkerPlease do not get on the Doomsday bandwagon and go out and by yourself a retired missile silo.  The sad truth is having a retreat is nice but in a real disaster you will most likely not be able to reach it in a timely matter.  I am a firm believer in BUGGING IN not OUT.  Don’t get me wrong I do have a bug out bag handy just in case.  But, it is the absolute last thing I plan on doing if there were no other option.

The key is to have a PLAN on where you’re family can meet up in case you were separated.  This could be another family members house or a camp site.  The kids are at school and you’re at work.  What does you’re family do when a disaster happens?  Where do you meet up?  What if you’re home is inaccessible?  These are the questions to ask yourself.  Having a plan is the key to survival – not a million dollar condo in a missile silo.

Myth #5: Prepping will turn me into a crackpot!

Crackpot PreppersThis image is from stereotypes of sociopath loners like Ted Kaczynski the “uni-bomber” and right-wing militias that thrive on visions of conspiracies to justify firearm fanaticism’s.  Being a prepper will not turn you into a crackpot in the woods, dressed in camouflage threatening trespassers with explosives.

The truth- preppers are your normal day to day people who over the years realize the system (Government) may not always be around to support them.  They feel a need to provide for their own safety and survival.  Even if you are a newbie prepper with no emergency supplies, once you get started prepping you will see positive results.  You will be more confident in the fact that you have done you’re very best in protecting you’re family from disaster.

Myth #6: Weapons are the most important thing!

Assault WeaponsIn light of the pending gun control debate.  Many preppers have lost focus on the true meaning of being prepared.  They have been buying up every semi-auto AR-15 in existence because they fear the government.  Ammo is non-existent on store shelves and because of this most of the average preppers budget is spent on buying weapons and ammo.

If you’re primary focus is on buying weapons then other areas of you’re prepping needs are put on the back burner.  If you don’t have enough provisions to provide for you’re family for at least (Minimum) 3-months then you are putting you’re family at risk.  If you already own a firearm with enough ammo to last awhile – do not waste money on more weapons.  It would be a mistake to play into you’re fears and forget the true meaning of being prepared.  Being prepared is more than owning a lot of weapons.

Myth #7: Prepping is everyman for himself!

When a disaster strikes it is important to understand man is not an island and he cannot survive on his own.  It is not human nature to be alone and when you have an army of people scavenging the neighborhood looking for food you will need to compromise and provide help where needed.  The key is to create a support or community group.  The bottom line, you will need to band together with you’re neighbors even if they are not preppers.

Keeping the peace is important because when things go south society norms will go out the window.  People will form vigilante groups and pillage for food and water.   You will want you’re neighbors on you’re side to help protect (the neighborhood) at which helps protect you’re emergency supply and in turn protects you’re family.

I know you have some questions.  Like why should I provide them with food and water when they did not prepare themselves?  Heck they may even have called you a crackpot because you were a prepper.  This does not change the fact that you will need help.  This should be part of you’re emergency plan – have provisions to use as barter or as I like to term keeping the peace within you’re neighborhood.

I personally keep extra supplies for this exact purpose.  I keep several cases of “cup-of-noodles” on hand to use as barter.  These noodle cups can be stored for up to a year, don’t take up much room and the best part is they are VERY CHEAP.  You can get 5 CASES for around $100.  Trust me, when a disaster happens and you’re neighbors haven’t eaten a thing in three days they would be very and I mean very appreciative to have a cup of hot noodles.

Conclusion

In this article we discussed the seven myths of prepping and why being prepared is so important.  Prepping is the everyday norm in our society and it’s not only fanatics that plan for disasters.  Protecting you’re family should be you’re number one goal.

Look out for my next article on “How to form a community group during a disaster.”

Rodney Butler

 

 

By Rodney Butler

 

World's Brightest Flashlights
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Life or Liberty, Profit or Prepping: Economic Decision Making for Preppers

This article has been generously contributed by Mark Solomon of the Financial Survival Center.

Prepper_Investment_Chart_-_FinancialSurvivalCenter

For the small part of the general populace that is aware of potential challenges ahead, economic decisions are much more complicated. We are known as Preppers for our actions that allow us to be ready to handle most foreseeable future scenarios without needing significant assistance.

Unlike those that either do not see any potential challenges to the current level of society functioning (utilities working, stores supplied, no wide-spread civil strife, etc.), or may see some questionable signs in the future and do not choose to prepare for them, preppers take action. We build the ark so to speak, before the rain begins. Then we stock it for the journey.

This brings up the great dilemma in being a prepper: How do we divide or allocate our limited money and resources the wisest way possible. We want to be both prepared for eventualities and still have opportunities for profit. We want to be prosperous no matter what happens, either a free stable trend, or to hell in a hand basket. We will examine some of these decisions and what tools we need to land on the right side of profitable vs prepared.

A bit of background about me: An engineer by training where I ran multiple projects over $ 25 M in budgets, also a former Financial Adviser, Futures Commissions Merchant (commodities trader), money manager, and a life long prepper. Despite plenty of formal training in the “socially acceptable Financial Planning methods” I will not use them for the most part in this paper. We are stepping beyond the fantasy world of finance, into the real world of hard goods, hard currency, and hard numbers.

Assumptions for getting started:

We have a source of income. We are not massively in debt. We are willing to invest and or speculate in the stock market, commodities (like gold, silver, platinum, corn, soy, cattle), real estate including rental, residential, commercial, and farm land.

If we do not have a source of income, then job one..through 10, is to get one fast. Preferably a job that offers income that can rise with inflation.

If we are seriously in debt, than getting out of debt probably needs to absorb 50% of our spendable income, with the other 50% going to prepping, not investing. After the prepping phase is at a point where 3 months of food, water and basic supplies are handled, then a cushion fund is the next step.

Ideally, 3 months of a cushion fund is a foundation. Once we have that in place, the decision making strategies discussed here can be applied for deciding what to do with funds above and beyond necessary expenditures.

Willingness to speculate or the more politically acceptable term “invest” is one of the keys to surviving and profiting through a currency collapse. There is almost no other means of both surviving and profiting through a period of currency debasement, economic collapse and financial lock-up then riding through the storm using the financial markets – until the collapse is at hand. This point of view is extremely controversial.

Here is why speculating in the collapsing market is a choice I personally make even though we all know it is fully manipulated.

The logic for speculating:

  • With a fiat currency – everything in an economy is essentially manipulated from above with central banks creating the currency   out of essentially a fantasy that the currency symbol has worth
  • Fiat currencies bring inflation as a default, until the central banks call in the debts and soak up the currency – as in the Great Depression
  • Speculating in the sectors that get the majority of the inflated currency investment – such as happened in the tech stocks until 2000, the real estate bubble until 2005, commodities from 2001-2010, and now the general stock market – is one of the few ways to increase wealth or keep pace with inflation.
  • We are either speculating ourselves with potential for profit, or the certain victim of someone else who is speculating, whenever we buy gas or diesel for our vehicles, pay an electricity bill, buy groceries, or buy anything made of metal, rubber, etc. such as batteries, tires – the routine stuff of life.

In short, we are all speculating no matter how far from it we want to be. A fiat currency turns us all into unwilling gamblers where we can have an opportunity to keep pace or beat inflation, or lose consistently to the inflation demon.

Yes, those of us buying gold and silver are still involved in speculating. For if gold and silver went to zero – as silver nearly did after the great Hunt brothers purchases were shut down and gold did after the post 80′s crash – then our insurance has largely disappeared.

Not to beat a dead horse, but speculating is a key skill for a successful prepper – and that does not mean strictly in the financial markets.

Our universe of choices for investing our money as preppers is far wider than the average, non-prepper investor.

Guess what one of the top “investments” of 2013 is so far? Most financial advisers or CNBC fans would quickly scan their screens for the top stock or commodity. They might come up with Aurizon Mines and others that gained around 20% or more.

Financial investments from the markets return absolute chicken feed when compared to how much .223 ammunition has increased: from 200% to 300% depending on the market. No capital gains taxes for small purchases. Yes, there are shipping and handling costs, but nonetheless, ammunition has been one of the best investment opportunities of the last 48 months. This is where preppers have a great advantage over traditional investors.

We get to invest and prepare at the same time.

Our decision tree looks much broader than someone that would never consider stored food, ammunition, firearms, specialty vehicles, food production equipment such as seeds and fertilizer, construction materials, energy production from solar power to batteries, and many other items as much more than preparation gear – but also investments. Additionally and most critically, books, DVD’s, training, and knowledge sources can also be considered as some of the most valuable investments.

Here are some of the items a prepper might consider buying and their price rises over the past several years:

For comparison, the stock market return for SP500 has been about 15% from 2011 until now Feb/2013, and about 6% from 2007 to now. Considering inflation – the average SP500 investor has lost significant money

.223 ammo in 2006 could be bought at wholesale for approximately $ 80 per 1000 rds, then in 2008 it reached $ 250 / 1000, and now if a dealer can even find them .223 can run $ 800 for Lake City Ammo, a whopping 10X price increase in 6 years.

As late as 2011, a decent AR15 sporting rifle, labeled by anti-freedom sorts as an “assault rifle,” could be found for between $ 650 and $ 1000 for low to medium level models. Now, if you can find an AR15, the price will be closer to $ 1200 to $ 1500 for a basic version. That works out to an investment return of 50-85% in less than one year!

Storage batteries across the board – including lithium carbonate, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lead acid, and nickel zinc batteries have seen price increases of 15-25% per year. This price increase stems from raw materials, another aspect from E.P.A. regulations, and the near monopoly on mining and processing a few large manufacturers, plus the demand from Asia..but most of all, rampant money printing from around the world.

Not all prepper related items have increased. Solar panels have thankfully dropped in price an average of 40% due to China flooding the market and new sources of silicon providing the raw material in abundance. However, the overall system costs have not decreased for an alternative energy system.

Items such as generators, pumps, hand and power tools, machine tools, and farm implements have skyrocketed in cost. Throughout history, machine tools have been a key source of productivity, social advancement, political power – as they could be turned to making weapons, and ability to master a land and people. For example of the dramatic price increase or investment return, a small lathe such as this one:

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-x-12-inch-precision-benchtop-lathe-44859.html

Could have been purchased for about $ 400 in 2008. That same lathe now sells for $ 999 and is sometimes difficult to even find in stock!

Food prices have been increasing dramatically..February 2011 according to NY Times saw one month increases of 3.9% with lettuce jumping 27%. Beef prices are set to soar as the drought and environmental rules decimate the farmers and ranchers. This translates to storable food becoming an investment option with average yearly value increase above inflation at 7% to 10%.

The summary for these facts is: Until you have far more than you want, need, or can use for barter, you are far better off buying more arms, ammo, food and tools, than getting involved in the financial markets. This is advice from a financial speculator, not a gun shop owner, someone selling freeze dried foods, or tools. Stock shares can be issued by the millions, while rifles take hard work, materials, skill, and time to produce by the hundreds. Same for ammo, gold, etc. No contest. Get prepared the financially smart way – and stay away from the financial markets until you have all the gear you want.

This article has been generously contributed by Mark Solomon of the Financial Survival Center.


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