All posts tagged survivalist


By Kimberly Paxton – The Daily Sheeple

Usually, when the mainstream media mentions preppers and survivalists, the angle is not flattering.  Maybe someone who considers himself a survivalist has committed a heinous crime and is on the loose.  Perhaps a prepared family is beaming from the page while sitting in their bunker, hundreds of food buckets in the background and 17 paragraphs of mockery in the article below the photo.

But the possibility of a pandemic changes things, and with the Ebola case in Dallas, Texas, the folks in the mainstream media have a lot of questions for the preparedness community. With only a couple of exceptions, the reports have been a lot more open-minded than usual, if a little lacking in understanding of the preparedness community.

Perhaps, preppers aren’t so crazy after all.

First, MSNBC got the ball rolling the day after Thomas Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola. In the article, “What Preppers Are Doing About Ebola“,  MSNBC reporter Chris Morris quoted two preparedness experts that reinforced the need to remain calm, but aware.  Published on October 1, the day after the diagnosis, the unbiased and rational article noted that some in the survival/prepping world expected to see a bump in sales.

Early figures from Amazon bear this out; as of Wednesday sales of a type of full-body protective suits were up 131,000 percent and sales for one type of mask had risen 18,000 percent in 24 hours.

Initial bestsellers were:

DuPont TY122S Disposable Elastic Wrist, Bootie & Hood White Tyvek Coverall Suit

Particulate N95 Respirator with Valve

This article was quickly followed up by NY Mag, who put out a snarky piece lazily using the same quotes as MSNBC’s article, but twisting them to make the community sound like fringe-dwelling lunatics.

Two days later, the market is still hot. Although the online retailer does not release exact sales figures, the “industrial and scientific” section of the“movers and shakers” page, which shows products flying off the virtual shelves in the last day, is filled with gas masks, body suits, and, for some reason, a “Combat Application Tourniquet” (zombie invasion?). As seen above, a huge chunk of the top 20 sellers would have practical uses if more than one person in the country had Ebola.

But in the survivalist community, also known as preppers — the people who think the world could any minute, for reasons ranging from Obama being a reptilian Illuminati puppet to Obama releasing an airborne version of the virus — anyone just shopping now is a total noob.

Despite the derision, one thing is clear: People are stocking up.



From the left, row by row, the top products for a potential pandemic on October 3rd were:

DuPont TY127S Tyvek Coverall Suit

Polish Gas Mask

BudK Czech M10 Gas Mask With Filter & Drinking Tube

Gerson 2130 N95 Smart-mask Particle Respirator Mask – 20-Pack – Made in USA

Combat Application Tourniquet

DuPont White 5.4 mil Tyvek Disposable Coveralls

Kimberly Clark Healthcare 47117 Tecnol Earloop Procedure Masks 50/Bx Yellow

DuPont TY122S Disposable Elastic Wrist, Bootie & Hood White Tyvek Coverall Suit

GOJO 2740-01 Dove Gray TFX Touch Free Dispenser

The same day, an article appeared on Bloomberg stating in no uncertain terms that the emergency supply business was booming.  The fair and reasonable coverage on Bloomberg just provided facts. First of all, DuPont has tripled production to meet the need for protective items:

DuPont, which is based in Wilmington, Delaware, said in an e-mailed statement that it has tripled production of some items used for Ebola protection and has “worked hard to shift products geographically and made a available a broader range of styles suitable for various treatment levels.”

A message on DuPont’s website, which cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends gloves, eye protection, face masks and fluid-resistant gowns to protect against Ebola infection.

Bloomberg said that it was not only the sale of protective clothing that was up, but also that handbook sales were dramatically on the rise:

Materials teaching how to deal with a potential Ebola outbreak also have gained in popularity. Sales of “Ebola Survival Handbook: A Collection of Tips, Strategies, and Supply Lists From Some of the World’s Best Preparedness Professionals” which was published Sept. 22, rose 49 percent in the past 24 hours. Buyers of the book frequently also purchase Tyvek suits and respirators, according to Amazon, which encourages customers to buy all three together.

The Washington Post got on the survivalist bandwagon today, with an article entitled “How ‘survivalists’ in America are planning their escape from Ebola apocalypse — right now.” This article focused less on the purchases and more on the lifestyle.

In survivalist parlance, what is your “SHTF plan” — that is, your plan for when the (s)— (h)its (t)he (f)an?

Don’t have one? There are some who do. They sometimes call themselves “Preppers” — the word those devoted to preparing for environmental and/or financial Armageddon usually prefer to “survivalist” — have some advice for you.

The article then broke down the 4 “rules” for surviving an Ebola pandemic. (This is despite the fact that all of the preppers interviewed concurred that it was merely time to be watchful and aware, not time to go into full-out bunker mode.)

Rule No. 1: You’re not crazy — but prep, don’t panic. 

Rule No. 2: Getting ready means getting armed.

Rule No. 3: Go shopping.

Rule No. 4: Withdraw from society — but keep busy.

Will society see the wisdom in getting prepared?

Judging from the comments on the articles, there are some people still think preppers are crazy.  Little gems like this:

Ah yes. You need to have guns for the marauding looting bands of… well maybe sort of prepperd  (sic) preppers… who will be roaming the countryside killing and raping and so forth..

Just like in New Orleans, right?

The sad part is there are people who believe the above and waste large amounts of resources trying to make this dream come true. Says a lot about the person being interviewed I guess,

And the wisdom of this pleasant fellow:

These preppers are great, as they’ll buy anything as long as you label it “survival”. Now it’s off to Ebay to sell more “survival fire sticks with survival lighting strip included” aka matches to the gullible.

And of course this brilliant humanitarian:

It’s also the fool who spends a great percentage of their time & resources preparing for a very low probability event (apocalyptic happening that leaves your family alive).

But lets face it, most of these people are praying such an event occurs, for multiple reasons. Not the least of which because they can’t wait for the opportunity to kill people on the flimsiest justifications, and without recourse.

Besides, I’d far rather myself and my family be dead, than share an Earth with the type of people who ‘prep’.

I wonder who will be the first person to knock on a prepper’s door for help should disaster truly strike? It wouldn’t be farfetched to guess that it might be an arrogant, self-professed intellectually superior liberal who feels entitled to that prepper’s stockpile.

Comments aside, judging from sales numbers on Amazon, many people who had never before considered owning N95 masks and protective clothing are quietly stocking up.

Here’s The Daily Sheeple’s pandemic preparedness list:

You can learn more about preparedness from these regular Daily Sheeple contributors:

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

Contributed by Kimberly Paxton of

Kimberly Paxton, a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple, is based out of upstate New York. You can follow Kimberly on Facebook and Twitter.



battle bag battle box

By Travis P

The three-day bag, bug-out bag, get-home bag or whatever else you call it is one of the basic necessities of being a survivalist or prepper.

It covers food, water, shelter, first aid and some offensive and defensive capabilities. These offensive and defensive capabilities are often limited to a couple of extra magazines and possibly an extra sidearm.

The battle bag, though, is completely different. The battle bag, also known as the boom bag or the battle box, is something I learned about in Afghanistan. I was in a company level recon squad and we had an extremely battle-hardened staff sergeant who had served multiple tours in Iraq, including the battle for Fallujah. His word might as well have been the gospel. He made each team in our squad carry a boom bag. This boom bag was where we kept extra hand grenades, M203 40mm grenades, magazines, linked ammunition, and the occasional brick of C4. Each boom bag had a LAW rocket launcher strapped to the side of it.

Anything taken from these bags was replaced as soon as we got back to the base. Anytime we weren’t on patrol we were constantly assigned to the quick reaction force, also known as the QRF. We could grab those bags and go to war with enough power to level a small village.

Of course, most of us don’t have a LAW we can strap to our packs, or grenades, or C4, but the boom bag is still a great idea. The boom bag fits right beside the bug-out bag in your closet.

How to hide your guns, and other off grid caches…

If you haven’t caught on yet, the boom bag is where you store extra ammunition and magazines for those times when things move faster than you can bug out. The boom bag is there for you to get out and be ready to fight your way out if necessary.

In Afghanistan, our boom bags weren’t solely dedicated to ammo, explosives and rockets, just mostly. We kept a three-liter camel back bladder in the front pouch, and a dozen protein bars shoved in every corner we could. Outside the pack we strapped an extra IFAK (individual first aid kit) to the Molle system on our bag.

So when building your boom bag, keep that in mind. Fit some water and some food in there. Strap down or shove in some medical gear as well. The boom bag is basically the inverse of the bug-out bag. Eighty percent boom with 20 percent survival gear.

The primary focus of your boom bag or battle box should be loaded with ammunition. Let me separate the two (“bag” and “box”). First, I use a battle box for my vehicle, and it’s sturdier and fits better in my vehicle than a bag. This box contains ammo for my everyday carry gun and my truck gun. I use a plastic waterproof box, which is sealed against water and stores easily under my truck seat.

battle box

The box isn’t much different except it can’t be strapped to your back, but it can be cached. Outside of being stored in my truck, a battle box is perfect to be stored hidden, and outside your home. This is a major advantage as a backup to your boom bag should you fight your way through that ammo or if you get separated from your supplies. No one ever died from having a backup plan, or from having too much gun food.

My cache box and my truck box are identical. I use green plastic ammo boxes with watertight seals. I store three loaded steel magazines for my AK and two for my pistols. I tuck a hundred rounds of loose rifle ammo and 50 rounds of pistol ammo under the curve of the AK mags. These little boxes are cheap and easy to build.

The boom bag is man portable and capable of getting you through more fights, scrapes and bad situations than the ammo you keep in pouches can. When it comes to packing ammo and mags you need to find a delicate balance which can keep up with your trigger finger while giving you enough room to carry an appropriate amount of ammo.

For example, my AK mags with 30 rounds easily take up the space a hundred rounds can fit in. I dedicate about 60 percent to “loose” ammo and about 40 percent to loaded magazines. I also found polymer mags are a lot lighter than steel mags, and drums are too unreliable to waste the time to carry.

I started by using basic ball ammo — the cheaper the better. I wanted to be ready as soon as possible. I then began replacing the cheap ball ammo with more expensive and more potent and powerful defensive ammunition when I could afford it. I started with the handgun ammo I kept in the magazines, and worked my way through that and then began loading Winchester PDX 1 AK 47 ammo, and Hornady Critical Duty. This was a slow and expensive process, but I only replaced the ammo round by round.

I total out at six 30 round magazines for my rifle, all polymer, and two 47 round polymer mags for it just in case. I keep an additional 200 rounds of loose ammo for the rifle. I have five additional pistol magazines for my main sidearm, and a hundred rounds in loose ammo. I keep an additional handgun, a .357 Rossi revolver, with two speed loaders and a hundred rounds of ammo.

I also stored the common medical goods to treat gun wounds including tourniquets, gauze, chest seals, QuikClot combat gauze, and of course some alcohol for sterilization. When it comes to food and water I pack a bit, but not excessively. I pack half a dozen high calorie and high carb energy bars, a liter canteen strapped to the side and plenty of iodine tablets and purification drops.

So weight-wise, this thing isn’t exactly kind to the back. For someone my size and my experience, the weight isn’t that bad. I carried 500 rounds of linked 7.62mm with a M240 machine gun, and of course there was the body armor, water and food, etc. The pack isn’t terrible, but after a few hours you won’t feel like a spring chicken.

The battle bag – or boom box or boom bag or battle box — is incredibly valuable to stash in case your raining day quickly turns into a tornado. Extra ammo is something we all have. It’s not living up to its potential being stored in boxes in your closet or basement. Having it spread around evenly allows you to be able to quickly access it and move when necessary.

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This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: Why A ‘Battle Bag’ Should Be Part Of Your Survival Stash


prepper movement history

By Rich M

The prepping movement seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. While there are no accurate figures about how many people in the United States identify themselves as “preppers,” estimates range right around 3 million people. A more accurate idea might come from looking at how many new prepping websites there are and how many new businesses which cater to those with a survivalist mentality. Why, even mainstream retail giants like Costco and Sam’s Club are carrying prepackaged survival food.

It’s clear that the United States is preparing for something; although opinions vary considerably about what it is that we are preparing for. Some are looking no farther than a disastrous weather event, while others are predicting the end of life as we know it and a return to simpler times.

Regardless of what is being said or who is saying it, it’s clear that many people are getting nervous; nervous enough to do something about it. This “new” movement may actually be changing the way America is thinking in a rather fundamental way. Whether this fundamental change will affect other parts of the American way of life is yet to be seen.

While we tend to think of the prepping movement as something new in America, I have to say that it really isn’t. Just a few short years ago we were faced with the potential of the Y2K disaster. Nobody seemed to know what was going to happen when all our computers rolled over into the new millennium. The concern for that unknown pushed people to stockpile food, water and other supplies, so that they could survive the loss of computer control for our infrastructure and all that such a widespread loss would entail.

Of course, the Y2K thing didn’t turn out all that bad and most of us didn’t notice it anywhere near as much as we noticed the ball dropping in Times Square at midnight. Nevertheless, had things gone anywhere near as bad as some of us predicted, the only ones who would have survived in anything near comfort were those who had bothered to prepare.

The Essential Survival Secrets of The Most Vigilant…Most Skilled…Most Savvy Survivalists in the World!

I’ve been a prepper for just about 40 years, ever since I was in high school. Back then, our biggest concern was thermonuclear war. I remember reading a number of novels which talked about surviving in a post-war scenario and decided that I was going to be one of those who were ready to survive. Together with some friends, I made plans to head into the Colorado Rockies whenever Washington pushed the button.

Back then we weren’t known as “preppers,” “but survivalists.” As far as mainstream society was concerned, we were just a bunch of kooks who were building bunkers in the wilderness, so that we could survive the nuclear holocaust. They brushed us off with their condescending remarks, much like the media of today does with today’s preppers.

Children during the Cold War were taught to “duck and cover” in the case of a nuclear attack. Fallout shelters were designated in schools and other public buildings. In some cases, they were even stocked with government supplies of food and water, to make sure that people could survive.

food storage containersBut prepping didn’t even start with the Cold War; it goes back even farther than that. I grew up on the East Cost, just across the George Washington Bridge from New York City. The house I grew up in was built sometime in the early 1800s. Even so, when World War II started, the owners added a bomb shelter (read “bunker” in our modern lexicon) and stocked it so that they could survive a Nazi bombing of our eastern seaboard.

This was not uncommon back then, especially for people of means. While today’s prepper movement is mostly a middle-class movement, it seems that in those days it was something that the upper crust participated in, moreso than the common people. Maybe that was because they had the money to build the bunkers and stockpile the supplies. You can be sure that even today there are many wealthy people who have unadvertised bunkers beneath their homes.

We can’t even say that prepping started with those bomb shelters of World War Two’s era. The pioneering days of the westward expansion of the United States was filled with preppers as well. They would gather food and firewood during the summer, storing their food in an underground bunker known as a root cellar. In some parts of the country, that bunker served double-duty as a tornado shelter, as well. But even if they didn’t get any tornadoes, their prepping was necessary so that they could survive an annual natural disaster called … winter.

That style of prepping was founded very early here in these United States — all the way to the coming of the Mayflower. We even celebrate those early preppers every year on Thanksgiving, in honor of their celebration in which they gave thanks to God for having successfully prepared to survive the winter.

Prepping for winter has a very long history, going back so far that there really isn’t any way of documenting it. The American Indians were known preppers, creating jerky and pemmican to help them make it through the winter. More than 500 years ago the Basques created salt cod as a means of prepping. In fact, all of our modern methods of food preparation, except for freezing, came from the desire of people around the world to prepare for leaner times.

With a history of over 500 years, it’s safe to say that the “modern” prepping movement really isn’t all that modern after all. Actually, it’s a return to the ways of our ancestors. A return to self-sufficiency rather than government dependency. A return to taking charge of our own lives and futures, so that come what may, we will be ready to face it.

When non-preppers make fun of us, they are saying in essence that they think that humankind has evolved to the point where we have overcome nature, overcome disasters and overcome problems. Maybe they should take a look around and talk to the victims of Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy. Maybe they need to take the blinders off of their eyes and see what kind of shape the country is in, as well as the wider world around us. Maybe it’s time for them to become preppers, too.

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This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: The Modern Survivalist Movement: It’s Really Not All That Modern




We’ve discussed natural remedies for a number of ailments in other articles but we haven’t really touched on substitutions for specific medications. Today, we’re going to talk about some natural alternatives for common meds that you can use in a post-SHTF survival situation.

Just remember that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “safe.” Use these remedies with just as much care for dosage as you would standard chemical meds.

Aspirin, NSAIDs and Anti-Inflammatories

There are a few different reasons why you may take these meds; you may take it to relieve pain or as a blood thinner to reduce your odds of having a heart attack or stroke.

The problem is that aspirin and many NSAIDs damage the stomach lining, liver and kidneys. As a matter of fact, aspirin causes gastrointestinal bleeding and new research indicates that it may actually increase some people’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Aspirin taken long-term may also increase your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts by as much as 44%.

In any event, it may not be available in a survivalist situation so you need a natural alternative to aspirin if SHTF. Here are some alternatives:

Blood thinners:ginkgo-biloba-bsp

  • Natural vitamin E – 100 IUs of natural (not synthetic!) vitamin E is at least as effective as aspirin, according to some research.
  • Ginkobiloba – ginko has been used for centuries to inhibit clotting and improve circulation
  • Water – yes, it sounds like a cop-out but water is the best natural blood thinner there is.

Pain killers and anti-inflammatories:

  • Devil’s claw – this has been used as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer for successful treatment of arthritis, tendonitis and muscle pain.
  • Turmeric – used for pain and inflammation.
  • Ginger – pain and inflammation


Statins, including Lipitor and Zocor, are used to lower cholesterol in order to avoid heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. There are many natural alternatives to these medications that you can use now and in the case of a survivalist, SHTF scenario.

  • Red wine – the resveratrol and other antioxidants in red wine work well to keep cholesterol down.
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil (those omega-3’s again!)
  • Fiber-rich foods such asRed Wine oats and vegetables
  • Dark chocolate
  • Coconut oil and other medium-chain triglycerides instead of regular fats that can raise bad (LDL) cholesterol

Blood Pressure

Though high blood pressure can be genetic, it’s mostly a dietary issue.

However, once you develop it, it’s a life-threatening condition that requires daily treatment.

In addition to losing weight, there are some natural remedies that will work as natural blood pressure medications in a survivalist SHTF scenario.

  • Increase potassium! Bananas, potatoes, tomato juice and coconut water are all high in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
  • Coenzyme Q10 works well to lower blood pressure
  • Garlic
  • Hawthorn
  • Foods containing magnesium and calcium
  • REDUCE sodium intake. This directly affects your blood pressure!


Heart burn, acid reflux and stomach upset don’t have to plague you, even in a SHTF situation. When you’re making your survivalist list, include these natural alternatives to antacids.cinnamon

  • Almonds – they naturally reduce stomach acid. Take a handful of 15-20 and your heartburn will disappear in a half-hour or so.
  • Aloe vera juice – long used to heal ulcers and soothe upset stomachs. Make sure that if you’re making your own, you follow proper procedure. Aloe is super-easy to grow.
  • Apple cider vinegar – though it may sound counterproductive to throw acid on heartburn, ACV has been used forever to cure stomach ailments. Stir 2 tablespoons into a few ounces of water and drink it immediately following a meal.
  • Apples – a slice of apple can reduce stomach acid and have you feeling better in 5 minutes or so.
  • Baking soda – mix a teaspoon in a few ounce of water and drink. Don’t use it regularly though because it can increase sodium levels.
  • Bananas
  • Basil leaves – 2-3 will do the trick.
  • Buttermilk
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Peppermint

The list for natural antacids goes on and on but these are some of the best.

Type-2 Diabetes

Though there is no real approved alternative treatment for type-2 diabetes, there are some interesting research studies taking place that suggest that the following may be effective in helping to control it in the future.

In a SHTF situation, an alternative treatment for diabetes may be necessary, though, so having these on hand certainly can’t hurt. Also, it should go without saying that any food that raises glucose levels should be eaten with extreme care.

  • North American ginseng – may help with blood sugar control and glycosylated hemoglobin levels.
  • Chromium – this essential trace mineral plays an important role in carbohydrate and fat metabolism and helps cells respond correctly to insulin.
  • Magnesium – found naturally in green leafy veggies, nuts, seeds and grains. It’s an essential mineral for everything from blood sugar metabolism to sodium uptake.
  • Cinnamon – studies are showing that as little as 1 gram or as much as 6 grams of cinnamon may improve blood glucose control in people with type-2 diabetes.

Many of these illnesses can be avoided by proper exercise and eating a healthy diet. In this case, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure because in a SHTF situation, it’s probably not going to be easy to find medications to keep you alive.

These herbs can help but the best way to prepare yourself to survive in a survivalist scenario is to be in the best shape that you can be!

This article first appeared at Survivopedia: Natural Alternatives for Common Meds after SHTF 

Find out more about medical preparedness for long term survival on The Prepper’s Blueprint.

Photo sources: 1. 2, 3, 4.

No matter how you prep or what disaster you feel might be on the horizon, one thing just about every prepper and survivalist loves are acronyms. There are so many that it’s easy to get them confused or worse yet, have no clue what they mean.

To help ease this problem, below is a list of the most common terminology used by preppers and survivalists. It’s a good idea to brush up on these terms so you know what everyone else is talking about. If you’re already a pro at this, send the list to friends interested in prepping so they can start to know what’s going on. So without any more introduction, here is a list of survivalist and prepper terminology explained.


OPSEC: Operational Security. This is the protection of critical information. This would include the location of your retreat, what supplies you have, where they are stored, what weapons you have as well as the amount of ammo for those weapons. Everything that relates to you and your family’s security.


Alpha strategy: The practice of storing extra consumable items, as a hedge against inflation, and for use in barter and charity. This is in reference to the second book by author John Pugsley in which he writes what is considered the standard reference on stocking up on food and household goods for emergency.

Ballistic wampum: Ammunition stored for barter purposes. Think of this as just another resource that can be traded.

MRE: Meal Ready To Eat. These are pre-packaged food items usually made for the military.

ELE: Extinction Level Event. This would refer to things like super volcano eruption, massive meteor strike, or magnetic pole reversal.

BOB: Bug-out bag. This is a bag that contains the items you need to survive for up to seventy-two hours.

BOL: Bug-out location. During the cold war this would be a bomb shelter. Today, think of this as a place you go when things get bad, like a cabin in the woods or any other place away from civilization you could lay low and wait out any problems.


BOV: Bug-out vehicle. The vehicle you use to get out of town with. It should be prepped with a BOB and all the gas and information to get to your BOL.

ALICE: All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment

Hard Money: Currency that is either redeemable in precious metals, or issued in the form of precious metals. Think gold, silver, and platinum.

Zombie: The name for the unprepared and often aggressive masses who will look to take what you have painstakingly prepared.

Crunch: A general term for a major, long-term disaster. This usually refers to a financial crunch that takes down major markets.

Doomer: Someone that believes that peak oil will cause the collapse of civilization as we know it.

EDC: Everyday carry. What one carries at all times in case disaster strikes while one is out and about. This would ideally be a knife, flashlight, fire-starting tool, etc. This also refers to the carrying of a pistol for self-defense, or the pistol that is carried.

EOTW: End Of The world.


Electromagnetic pulse (EMP): An EMP is a burst of electromagnetic energy that disables and destroys electronic devices. The ones that can cause mass destruction generally come from nuclear devices as they explode.

Goblin: A criminal, as coined by Jeff Cooper.

Golden Horde: The anticipated horde of refugees and looters that will swarm from the metropolitan regions in massive doomsday scenarios.

G.O.O.D.: Get Out Of Dodge. This refers to the speedy exit of a town or city when things go bad quickly.

G.O.O.D. Kit: Get Out Of Dodge Kit. This would be the same thing as a Bug Out Bag (BOB).

Pollyanna or Polly: A person in denial about the disruption that will be caused by large-scale disaster.

Prepper: A prepper is a survivalist that is prepared for major disasters by collecting food, water, supplies, and weapons in preparation for major world events that will leave the world as we know it changed forever. This is a synonym for survivalist and came into use during the ‘90s.

TEOTWAWKI: The End Of The World As We Know It. While the longest acronym in this list, it is a very common one and seen in many articles, magazines, and book focused on prepping.

WTSHTF: When The Shit Hits The Fan. This is a term used generically by survivalists to describe disaster situations. An acronym that refers to the time at which major bad events happen, causing the prepper to turn on survival mode.

WROL: Without Rule Of Law. This describes a potential lawless state of society where police and military are either out of commission or not powerful enough to keep laws in place.

YOYO: You’re On Your Own. This is pretty self-explanatory.

You're Invited to the End of the World - Apocalypse Coming


If a word can be re-purposed or shortened, it will be. These are the main acronyms and terminology used by preppers and the survivalist community, but there are always more. Keeping up with the terminology can help to make sure you’re up to speed on what is going on and ready for when TSHTF and TEOTWAWKI comes. – SurvivalBased

Bugging Out When SHTF Considerations to Bugging Out When SHTF

Suppose SHTF, and the city is turning into a hell hole. It’s the disaster of the century and you happen to be stuck right in the middle it. Looting is rampant, the infrastructure has entirely collapsed and supplies are running low. You see violence picking up as people start to fight over resources. You figure there’s a way out so you find a way to safely get past the gang led roadblocks. So you steal a nice 4×4 and you siphon enough gas to make it 100 miles out of the city. This is what a survivalist calls “Bugging Out”.

Problems with Bugging Out

Being the prepared survivalist that you are, you’ll want to have a BoB (bug out bag) and a BoV (bug out vehicle) stocked and ready “just in case”. Bugging out has it’s advantages depending on the situation but it also comes with major risks and problems that you’ll want to keep in mind before you depart. Some of the problems you may face include:

  • You’re limited by how much you can carry.
  • You can only go as far as your fuel can take you.
  • You risk encountering riots, roadblocks, random violence and gridlocked streets.
  • Your house will be ransacked and looted while you’re gone.
  • Your vehicle may not be up to the task of driving long distances and may be faced with a mechanical breakdown.
  • Unless you know absolutely where a retreat can be found you may be driving a long time before you find a safe place.
  • You’ll have to survive in an unfamiliar environment.

Unless you have a survival retreat or know of a safe place that hasn’t been affected by the disaster, I would advise against bugging out. “Heading for the hills” is not much of a plan and you’ll probably end up with more problems then you’d like. If on the other hand you have friends or family and they’re ready, prepared and willing to accept you… then your safest bet is to leave with the pedal to the metal. Some Ideas to Keep in Mind:

  • Don’t even think about bugging out in a Geo or some other pathetic vehicle. Get a nice big and powerful 4×4 pick-up truck so that you can go off-road, over fallen debris and around stalled or damaged vehicles.
  • You’ll want something big and powerful, good enough to carry at least 1000 pounds of supplies. You’ll need a lot of fuel to carry that much weight so carry that fuel as cargo.
  • If you’ve decided to bug out right away, things should still be relatively non-violent. If it’s several weeks into the disaster, prepare to encounter violence along the ride. Have an armed passenger in case you run into trouble.
  • If you have a survivalist team, plan a location and route and travel together as a convoy. Everyone should agree to leave, don’t leave anyone behind.

What to Take

What you take largely depends on where you’re going. Are you heading for the woods? Are you heading for another city or town? The supply list will vary for each person and I suggest making several to account for different environments. You should bring as much you can, don’t waste any space. Regardless of where you’re going, there are a few must have items to bring along such as:

  • Any essential medicine
  • A weeks worth of non-perishable food for each person.
  • Can opener
  • 20 gallons water
  • Water filters or water purification tablets
  • Cooking utensils and pots, cups,
  • Firearms with appropriate ammo
  • survival, and first aid books
  • Crowbar, axe and shovel
  • High quality survival knife
  • Tarp
  • 50+ feet of nylon cord
  • Garbage bags
  • Several rolls of duct tape
  • Several changes of appropriate clothing
  • Sleeping bag, or blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Sanitizer wipes, soap or bleach.
  • Map and compass
  • 40 gallons of extra fuel or more (and a full gas tank)

For a complete list of everything you should have in your BOB and BOV be sure to check out:

  1. The Ultimate 72 Hour Emergency Bug Out Bag For When SHTF
  2. The Perfect Vehicle Emergency Survival Gear For Your BOV

Where to go

As previously mentioned, you should have a designated place of refuge (family, friends house or survival retreat). If for some reason you don’t have a designated location, head for an area that’s forested away from the city and is near a creek or river so that you have access to water. If the wilderness is not an option, you’ll need to find a city or town that hasn’t been affected by the disaster and hope that they’ll accept refugees. – Urban Survival Network

What is the difference between a Survivalist and a Prepper?

 No, this isn’t a trick question and I do think there are very big differences between someone who calls themselves a survivalist and someone who prefers to use the term Prepper. Regardless of what I think though these two terms are interchangeably used to describe a wide swath of people. These people all have different motivations and philosophies on what they are doing and why. Survivalists and Prepper are just labels. Labels like this though can pigeon-hole people into thinking they need to act a certain way or it can cause assumptions from others based upon their own perceptions of what these words mean.

How are Survivalists and Preppers alike?

Let’s start with the easy stuff first. What do people who call themselves Survivalists have in common with a Prepper? I think at their core, Survivalists and Preppers both have a deep desire to live. This is not a fear of dying but rather a strong yearning to live life on their own terms. You will find tenacity in both Preppers and Survivalists to try to see the options they have before them. If you give up easily or become defeated too quickly you probably don’t deserve to call yourself a member of either team just yet.

Both Survivalists and Preppers like to prepare for unforeseen events, but I do believe Survivalists have a slightly more cavalier attitude about their chances for survival. Survivalists may give more weight to learning how to forage in the woods and eat grubs while their Prepper cousins might be more comfortable storing food to last as long as possible or creating a garden with heirloom seeds. The grub worms and fiddle-head fern salads can wait as long as possible, thank you.

Along with the desire to live I think Preppers and Survivalists both have a positive mental attitude towards overcoming obstacles when it comes to survival. They both hold a belief that with the right training, mental outlook and circumstances, no situation is ever more than they can bear. I have spoken to a lot of people who seem to want to shut down in the face of adversity or impending doom. Their response to my questions about prepping are usually something like “well we are all gonna die anyway, so what’s the point?” and this is 180 degrees from how I think we as humans should be.

What if the early settlers of our country just said, “I quit.”? They faced starvation, disease, death on a daily basis and still managed to carve a country out of the wilderness with zero government assistance, WIC vouchers, National Healthcare, MRE’s, GPS, Bug Out vehicles or smart phones. Do you think they had a desire to live and a positive mental attitude? We come from those same people who braved the elements, sailed across seas for months and landed in a foreign land with not much more than the clothes on their backs. They were the original Survivalists and Preppers and their blood runs through our veins.

How are they different?

As I said above, I think these terms get used interchangeably all of the time and in certain context the meaning may be blurred. For instance, there are a lot of websites that have Survival in the name that I look up to and respect greatly. They offer a ton of useful information on Survival, and I have linked to several of them on our resources page. I am not referring to the word Survival here because I think we all want to survive something.

When I speak of “Survivalists” with a capital S I am referring to people who will label themselves as such. I think Survivalists lean more toward the ideal that Bear Grylls and Les Stroud have promoted with their respective TV shows showing how they both can survive in the wilderness on all manner of strange tricks and skills that the normal person would never be in a place to use. I think some Survivalists see themselves as being deserted in a jungle somewhere with only a rusty coke can and a bandana to survive. Now, if this happens to you, would all of those Bear Grylls skills come in handy? Absolutely, but to base your entire understanding of the possibilities of what this life can throw at you on a couple of reality shows seems to miss the point to me.

To quote our current President, “Now, let me be clear” I love watching Bear Grylls and Les Stroud and other shows I can’t remember. Those shows do pass along knowledge that you can use and this applies just as much to the suburban prepper as it does to the Survivalist. I just prefer to take that knowledge and try to apply it to a different potential reality.

Preppers on the other hand do not seem to have most of the same scenarios in mind when they are preparing for an uncertain future. Preppers typically have one or more situations they view as inevitable and they make plans to mitigate the bad effects you could be faced with in that situation. For example, if a Prepper lived in Tornado alley, they would rightfully be concerned and their preps would almost certainly start with safety should a Tornado strike. They could go one past that and plan for survival after the tornado with food, water and shelter options that could help them and their neighbors in the days and weeks after any type of natural disaster like that.

Preppers also do not seem to make plans with only themselves involved. Preppers like to form groups and communities and try to get others involved, engaged and on-board when it is prudent to do so. I know there are survivalist groups as well, but they still seem to be more likely to want to be away from people before there is any actual need to.

Survivalists that I have run across definitely have a different way they present themselves when the subject of hypothetical grid-down scenarios are presented. I do get the sense that in some cases, they seem to have a “let them go to hell” mentality and I don’t think that is what Preppers would agree with on the surface. Now, I will freely admit that I haven’t met everyone, don’t know what is in anyone’s heart but mine and I could be very guilt of gross stereotyping here. If that is the case I apologize and I would love to hear your side in the comments below. I am not trying to pick a fight, just comparing and contrasting some people/themes based upon my observations.

Lastly, Preppers seem to be looking for a lifestyle change on top of their preparations. Eating more Organic food, living healthier lives, becoming more self-sufficient are common themes and this transcends any natural disaster. It shows a desire to have a better life and that is something I think we could all use.

Which one is best?

I don’t think it is as black and white as I have made it out to be in the paragraphs above. I certainly think that if the SHTF we would all be in for a huge reality check and there is no telling how we each might act. Who knows what type of situations we may be faced with and what will be necessary in order to live and keep our families safe. We might all end up being in the same boat, bashing each other over the head with the last broken oar. I hope not.

I like to identify with Preppers, but I do know that if faced with certain triggers, I might fall squarely into the Survivalist camp that I was painting with a broad brush a little earlier. I guess we are just two sides of the same coin, but we are both made of the same mettle. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that at all. – The Prepper Journal