Purpose Driven SHTF Planning

So what are you planning for? Are you planning to “bugout” to the hills at the first sign of societal trouble? Are you planning to stand fast, and defend hearth and home against the entitlement zombie hordes? Are you planning to thwart the evil empire’s designs on your community, as a member of the militia? Are you basing your preps on some fiction or non fiction book you read that gave you an idea for what might happen? There are plenty of scenarios out there, some plausible, some, not so much, but the important things are these. 1) Do you have general. realistic preps in place. 2) Do you have a solid, well thought out and realistic plan to deal with the general and specific concerns you’ve identified. 3) Are you physically and/or logistically equipped and able to carry out the planned responses to these threats. We’ll talk about these three things in order.


1). Do you have general, realistic preps in place? Obviously, it doesn’t do any good to be armed to the teeth, if you don’t have plenty of food and other goods stored away. As I’ve told plenty of people in the past. If you know someone whose only preps are weapons and ammo, STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THEM!, and for God’s sake, don’t tell them about your preps. Where do you think they’ll come first?  General preps would be items that would be stored specifically for use in any emergency, whether it’s a localized natural disaster, or WW3. Storable food, first aid supplies, shelter (environmental and defense) building material, firearms and other weapons and tools for defense/hunting chores, etc are just some of the general items you will need to cover a wide range of emergencies. By “realistic” I will use food as an example. Although we’d all love to have multiple years worth of MRE’s, or freeze dried food put back. The reality for most of us is this. Those types of meals are specialty items for specific instance like bugging out, or any other time weight and/or space is at a premium. Canned goods, whether they are done by you or bought at the store, are not only more economically viable, but in the case of the store bought canned goods, are more durably package, and the home canned items are healthier.

2) Do you have a solid, well thought out and realistic plan to deal with the general and specific concerns you’ve identified? What is your fear? The government becoming tyrannical, and making Matt Bracken’s “Enemies Foreign And Domestic” series come true? The same government destroying the economy and causing a depression like event which spirals into a“Patriots: Surivive the Coming Collapse” situation? How’s about the natural disaster scenario in “Lucifer’s Hammer” , or the nuclear war in “Alas Babylon” (2 personal favorites of mine)? No matter what the scenario, as long as you are being realistic (I know the last two election proved the existence of zombies, but the actual “Walking Dead” version is not realistic) as to the possibility of it happening, you need to make a plan for dealing with that eventuality, and your mindset is one of the most important things to assess and keep “real”, regarding how you prioritize the threats.

One of the reasons I’ve decided to teach a number of my courses from a Neighborhood Protection Team (NPT in A Failure Of Civility) standpoint is due to my belief that the approach to defending your community should be as a civilian member/defender of that community, not as a paramilitary squad rifleman (“tip of the spear” and all that). Mindset goes a long way in how you are viewed by those you protect. You want them to feel you are a competent, motivated peer, not a “Call of Duty” wannabe.

Communication, or the lack thereof, can make all the difference in your awareness of the developing situation, and how you can effectively deal with it during the event. Sparks31 does this kind of training in his “Grid Down Commo class”. Having redundancy in all your planning is a prerequisite for success (no where more than commo), and falls under the “well thought out” part of the “2” header above.


Using the acronym PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency), will help you prioritize your redundancy. For instance, using commo as an example Primary could be land line telephone or Skype, Alternate could be cell phone or a payphone (rare, I know), Contingency could be texting or social media (Facebook), and Emergency could be a Ham or CB radio,  or a “Dead Drop”. Plan redundancy into your preps, and even if you don’t need to resort to using them, you’ll have items available to help friends who might show up with nothing. An example of that would be this; You use an AR 15 as your “Go to” weapon. You have one other rifle of the same caliber, and magazine type (Keltec SU-16C fills a great lightweight, compact bugout/backup rifle niche), in case there’s a major problem with your primary, and you have a single shot NEF Handi Rifle in .223 as an extra. You can now arm two others with a rifle that uses the same ammo you have stockpiled for your rifle.

 3) Are you physically and/or logistically equipped and able to carry out the planned responses to these threats. I know, I know, a number of us constantly harp on the whole “PT” thing. Guess what, If you don’t do PT, or haven’t figured out a way to mitigate your inability to do it, it will be a noisy version of suicide for you and probably yours. Defending and sustaining (day in and day out hard physical labor in a non permissive environment) your life is a physically demanding event. First choice for those who can’t physically stand toe to toe with the bad guys, would be to figure out how to keep the “wolves” from knowing you exist (by being very well concealed, or having the ability to move out within a very short period of time), or by keeping them at distance. If you can do this, you might have a chance even if you’re not up to a demanding physical challenge due to age or an infirmity.


There are ways around the “Leather shod mobility” (Rucking) requirements (we’re talking about this from a Survivalist “bugout” load perspective, not a “35 lb ruck and your load bearing gear” EIB/Infantry perspective). Although I plan on using “Shanks Mare under load” (and practice all the time), I have tested out other methods, so if the need is there, I can move even more supplies. Whether you have a plan to use ATV’s, horses, sleds, or game carts on a “Bugout”, you need to make sure it is logistically realistic (where will you get fuel for the ATV’s or horses, cache maybe?), and you are capable of the minimum performance standards needed to complete the task (can you even load and pull a sled, or game cart with your gear?).



   This is not an “If you can’t PT you ain’t shit and will die post!  I completely understand that there are plenty out there that have the desire and intestinal fortitude to compete in the TEOTWAWKISTAN OLYMPICS, but as a good friend likes to say, “Hell, I’m already a mobility kill.”. My desire is to make you look at this from the realistic perspective of the Survivalist, (not some mental masturbatory “I wanna live “Call Of Duty- The Later Years’.” exercise), and help you develop a plan that will actually work FOR YOU!. I will not just placate you with pleasantries such as “If you have this insert name rifle (God’s own laser don’tcha know) you will stave off the entitlement horde for days.”.


There are plenty of self evident solutions out there, you just have to do your research, and more importantly, test them out, to make sure they work FOR YOU. Don’t get me wrong here. PT is very important, but you do what you can do (you know if your bullshitting yourself or not), and plan to fill the physical preparedness gaps you’ve found with common sense solutions that don’t rely too heavily on unreliable technological advances. Be honest with yourself on what you face, and how you’ll face it.


There are plenty of folks out there that will tell you that I have no problem spending hours on the phone giving suggestions to prep problems. I will not BS you with a “What you need is to attend this class I teach.” line. If I think it’s appropriate, and if you ask about them, I will tell you. I feel my responsibility is to help you figure out the best solution for you, and if that means recommending you take a course or buy gear from someone else, I will. The coming unpleasantness WILL discriminate! If you’ve planned, prepared, and trained ahead of time, your survival will not be just a “Dumb Luck” proposition, but a “Luck With Benefits” insurance policy.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

28 thoughts on “Purpose Driven SHTF Planning

  1. Pingback: MDT: Purpose Driven SHTF Planning | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. “Know your enemy and know yourself and in 10000 battles will you be victorious, Know yourself but not your enemy, and you will lose 50% of your battles. Know not yourself or your enemy and you will fail in every engagement”– Sun Zu of Wu… People tend to not “think through” their plan. “Bugouts” are the worst for this, having only a tenuous “wagons west” “Mountain man” fantasy. I don’t fear the welfare zombies half as much as I fear 25 to 75 million “buggouts” armed to the teeth with only enough gas and food to get to the “National Forrest” and “live off the land”. They will start eating people first. The Militia fantasy “troopers” will VERY quickly devolve into marauding bandit/rape gangs and death squads , much as they have in Africa. They may actually start eating people before the buggouts do. Next down the list will be the “preppers” behind all that horded barbwire and IED minefields. The so called “retreat snipers”. But: Most of them seem elderly. They will only last as long as the FISHMOX and TP hold out or until overrun by starving “buggouts”. Last, and the ones with the best chance at actual lives are those that build walled towns, and farm. IF they can hold off the fantasy corp , until it starves or is reduced to a small enough number, through starvation and sickness. THEY have a chance. But if the global “grid” ever does “go down” it is right back to the 18th century or worse for all of us. No one in our modern world is ready for that.

  3. I do love these postings. Best plan, best gun, best ruck, best direction to run,… how much rebar to put in the bunker walls… And in response… we sit at the keyboard and crap on every other souls efforts…

    If the ‘Grid-goes-down’ dreamers get their wish….. We will all be chucked into Gods own blender and the lucky few will dodge the blades… well… even they will come out with a few nicks.

    Do give history a longer read. The ’18th. century was a far less frantic time to live in than your average ‘Downtown’ is today. The assumption that all STEM will not be in use…. is foolish.

    As for me… “From my lips to God’s ear…. Keep the party going boss”

    • I’m sorry but you really need to stop trolling when you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. The 18th century was one of violence on a globe spanning scale. It saw hundreds of wars and great and small involving every nation in Europe. With the near constant specter of plague and starvation, awaiting any crop failure. Almost continuous war with the Native Americans. Plus the “French and Indian” war . The American Revolution, The conquest of India. Almost continuous globe spanning war between England and France. The “Jackobite rebellion”. With its aftermath .Religious wars everywhere. The “Golden age of Pirates” . It saw Medicine stuck in the dark ages. Communication , that could see a letter or message take years to arrive , if it ever did, while Highwaymen and river pirates practiced their trade almost unmolested in Europe and The America’s. The “average man” lived to be 35-45. The “average woman” lived to be 18-35. Live was “brutal ,drunken, thuggish and short” for anyone that was forced to work for a living. Young death was the common coin of the earth ,with only 17% of children living to adulthood, and most women facing death by childbirth before they turned thirty. “The 18th century” was really the late middle ages with guns. Sorry but pull your head from your ass before telling me about 18th century history. Or better still ,do something you never have. Read a book –or fifty , and stop getting your “facts” from WIKKI-WRONG and TV . Education is fun. You should try it.

  4. Some are, they are generally known as Amish, and having them for neighbors can be a good thing ,if you start now to get to know them. They take care of their own have no need for Social Security etc. and even though they only go to school through 8th grade,they do very well in current society. Better in fact than many with a burden of college debt.

  5. Okay, I’m 83 and my wheels are all square. The ankles are bad, as are the knees and hips so I’m not walking anywhere! No matter what the scenario turns out to be — I’m toast! Still, I have a younger wife (only 62… I know, I’m a cradle snatcher,) our daughter and her three small kids, all living in a huge old house in a suburban area of a medium-sized city. I’d like to improve their chances for survival.

    We have a garden and can everything we grow and whatever we can get from anyone else. We shoot pretty well and I’ve managed to harden the doors and windows without hauling in sheets of 1/2″ steel to cover all the walls (after all, that might defeat the “gray man” picture I’m trying to paint.) Few of my neighbors seem to have any interest in prepping other than thanking us for the jars of jam we give out at Christmas. The blank stares we get when we casually bring up the subject of guns leads me to believe I already own the neighborhood armory, pitifully small as it is.

    I have an idea that there is a large contingent of your readers who fall somewhere in or near my position. I also assume we, as easy targets, will be among the first to be visited by “The Confiscation Corps” and thus be reported by the MSM as the ‘gun hoarding terrorists’ that society is better off without. The kids – if they survive – will be relocated to safer homes where firearms and ‘bad-think’ are not tolerated.

    They might be better off dead…

    A few years ago, before I retired, I met an old man who owned a fairly large farm. The tax assessor had finally convinced him to develop and subdivide his land. He pointed to his house, surrounded by fruit trees and an occasional oak and said wistfully that he still slept in the bedroom he had been born in. I doubt many people can say that anymore. I know I can’t.

    It isn’t fun to look back at my 83 years and look forward to … oblivion? But that’s all any of us has in the end so, as I see it, I might as well make it as expensive as possible for TPTB when their myrmidons knock on my door with a battering ram. I will not go quietly into that long night! “A popcorn fart in a windstorm” may properly describe my resistance, but it’ll be MY fart!

    • Oldfart, I would be proud to have your popcorn fart and your wisdom standing next to me ! Stay safe and keep your powder dry !

    • Darn good reply. Brave and true words and I hope and believe that when it comes time they are true for both of us.

    • At 72, I’m with you!’ll do the best I can for me and mine. If we can make the first 90 -120 days, the worst of the ravening hordes will be gone. Then the real slog will start.

    • Oh my. You 80+ year olds listen up- my neighbor is 83, and I’ve learned more from him just about everything in the last year than I did through 2 bs degrees. I’m building a cabin across the street from him, and he taught me to weld, lends me tools, has me weld for him (has a pace maker), and he even leaned on the city council and county commissioner to go easy on me during construction. The guy has been a surveyor, an electrician, a plumber, telephone man, farmer, mechanic, and is a navy vet. More than all that, he’s been a friend and my greatest cheerleader in this struggle to build a log home with hand tools, block and tackle, and some rope.

      You old guys know weather patterns, human beings, green beans, 15 ways to make corn bread, and 20 ways to clean a fish. You know highways, by-ways, dirt roads, backroads, and no-roads. Stuff you know isn’t in books, and us young’ins are stupid if we don’t take advantage of all that knowledge and experience.

      I told my neighbor if THAT situation ever comes, I hope to weather it in his neighborhood, and I’d have his 6. He said likewise.

      Being a good neighbor and having old friends is, in my opinion, more valuable than guns or beans.

  6. As soon as clean water and sewage becomes problematic, there will be rampant dysentery and cholera. So the 1st huge die off will be in the first weeks by either traditional 3rd world diseases or people killing each other for antibiotics and clean water. During that period the diabetics will pass along with the psychotic. Next will come the parasitic diseases like maleria and Lyme which will kill off the young, old and weak.
    Older Folks, like myself, ask me how long to prep for and the answer is easy. You will die when you run out of your medications. Even if you can get around now, how about with no arthritis or pain meds? So about 3 months unless you have a pharmacy and a platoon to defend it.
    How much ammo? The likelihood you can fire several hundred rounds down range and be unscathed by the thousands of incoming seems remote.
    For many geezers, your legacy will be to reduce the number of useless zombies that will prey on good people you want to survive. I don’t expect to survive, but I will have my boots on.

  7. Thanks as always J.C. for the reality check. And happy new year to you and your missus. Be safe, and God bless you.

  8. Pingback: MDT: Purpose Driven SHTF Planning – Lower Valley Assembly

  9. Any advice on how to keep store bought canned goods stored correctly in this situation, remote cabin, we’ll insulated but unfortunately heated while unoccupied, temperature is below freezing for several months.
    For now we have been storing inside a propane refrigerator and several ice chests inside the cabin. The cans so far seem to be ok and the several cans of vegetables, tuna and chilli I have opened and used were ok.
    I was thinking of possibly digging a root cellar below the frost line next spring. The frozen ground in winter is very hard. Any ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Our place is in Rawls land in NE washington several miles from marble ranch we would like to reach out to other like minded people in the area.

  10. Great article. Its true many peppers are at least in their 50s, but life experience can be a valuable asset. I’m 58 with some structural problems stemming from hard work I wasn’t paid enough for, but I have skills acquired over the years that many younger guys only read books about. When it happens I’ll be thinking on my feet and adapting as quickly and effectively as my experience and skills allow. I’m honestly as prepared as I can afford to be with a rural, off grid, self sustaining life. The one thing I wish I had more of is Tribe…

  11. If you are suburban, stay on respectful terms with your neighbors.They can make or break your situation when times are hard.

  12. It’s my “Get-Home-Bag”, not a B.O.B. that I carry in my vehicle. Even in a post natural disaster I want to ride out the storm by getting back, as quickly as possible, to a familiar environment where provisions are located. Bugging out is a romantic notion glorified in the theater. Most will perish “out there”. But then again, the same can be said for those who sit at home waiting to be saved. In any case, best to follow the Golden rule. Each good deed we perform, comes back tenfold, it’s a sacred law of nature. Now that’s where one should want to reside: Established in That.

  13. JCD,

    Good info, as always. With the recent plunging temperatures would you share your thoughts on cold weather preps, movement and anything else you feel is pertinent?

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