What Preppers haven't Prepped for - the big gaping hole

globalintelhub's picture

Reading stories about Preppers is often more inspiring than reading about startups.  Preppers dedicate their entire life to their new way of life, as it were.  Take for example this recent article in the Washington Post about the American Redoubt:

Those migrating to the Redoubt are some of the most motivated members of what is known as the prepper movement, which advocates readiness and self-reliance in man-made or natural disasters that could create instability for years. It’s scenario-planning that is gaining adherents and becoming mainstream in what Redoubt preppers described as an era of fear and uncertainty.  They are anxious about recent terrorist attacks from Paris to San Bernardino, Calif., to Orlando; pandemics such as Ebola in West Africa; potential nuclear attacks from increasingly provocative countries such as North Korea or Iran; and the growing political, economic and racial polarization in the United States that has deepened during the 2016 presidential election.

Although the reasons for prepping are extremely varied, most dedicated preppers share several axioms of their prepping philosophy, such as:

  • Being 'off the grid' or self-reliant, for food, power, medical needs, and any needs or wants
  • Living in a secure, remote area
  • DIY mentality (Do It Yourself)
  • 6 month - 2 year supply of food and other supplies
  • Gold & Silver for if/when the financial system collapses

Before exposing the big gaping hole in the prepper's main doctrine, let's give uber-credit to this 'movement' if you want to call it that.  Although many preppers are fueled by irrational fears, and some based on a low probability, high impact event statistic (for example, a meteor several miles wide can strike the Earth, causing widespread volcanoes, earthquakes, and other end of days scenarios, but the chance of this happening in next 100 years is very low, probably 1 in 100 million); their approach towards life is very American, in fact it was this type of survivalist gusto that made America what it was originally.  The land was untamed, there were 'terrorists' (called in those days, American Indians) and Americans had to be self-reliant because well, there was no DHS to call.  If your village was attacked by Indians or the British you had to defend yourself.  There was also the chance of a lifetime - live in the West in the most beautiful property in the world basically for free - but you must do all yourself.  Pioneers, Homesteaders, Tradesmen, Industrialists, all thrived and made America what it was.  This essence seems to have been lost by the baby boomer generation that was convenience and consumer oriented (but of course, not completely).  Anyway, preppers have ushered in a new age of Americanism based on their self-reliant approach.  And many good lessons come with 'preparing' such as self-defense, making a robust plan (such as any organization, business or military should have), and keeping a stockpile of supplies in case of shortages.  The previous generation, mostly not with us anymore, would appreciate all these values.  During the war, they lived without many things.  They 'prepped' because of war.  Many preppers today will say that we are at war, it's just an information war, or assymetric war, or potential war.  Being a prepper in many ways is being smart in today's world.  Who knows what will happen tomorrow.  

The big gaping hole: FINANCIAL PREPPING

Preface this by saying that - of course - like with anything - it's not 100%.  But generally speaking, preppers have prepared for everything except for their finances.

Preppers are NOT financially prepared!

Keeping physical gold and silver is a good idea - but it isn't a panacea.  Also there are many risks associated with spending Gold and Silver such as theft, loss, and acceptance.  Maybe in certain scenarios - no one would want silver, but they may want a beer?

Yes, that's right.  If you want a real currency to use in an end times scenario, stock up on cheap whiskey and gin.  Growing Marijuana will be easy in such times (the reason it has the nickname 'weed' is because it grows like a weed), but making a still requires knowledge, time, a place which is safe and suitable, dedication, and materials.  That's just one example.  You can elaborate on this scenario with this lateral thinking.

Other items of value in end times include tools of all kinds, and specifically tools that don't run with electricity, but those too.  Dynamos, solar powered battery chargers, things like this - may be more valuable than gold or silver.  

And as gun lovers like to say:

The only real currency if society breaks down is accelerated lead.

Preppers should beef up their knowledge and understanding of the financial system.  If the system collapses, the new society will need bankers too.  An economic system must evolve, eventually.  Even if humans are living as savages, at some point as we rebuild, preppers and survivors will need bankers too.

(above: Camoflage as art, from ATL.)

To learn more about the financial system as a whole, checkout Splitting Pennies - your pocket guide to becoming a financial wizard!

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imsailing's picture

This is a strange article. I agree some preppers are so busy prepping for some doomsday scenario that they forget to prep for the obvious....such as losing your job, or one of your household incomes. Common sense should be to prep for the most likely event first and then work out to others. 

So when the article started talking about prepping finances, I was all set to read that we should do things like get out of debt. Instead all he said was to stock things to barter and think about becoming a banker? 

I agree, we should all understand basically how the system works. If more people did than the lairs and whores running the system wouldn't be getting away with what they are doing now. 

But more sound advice would be to tell people to get out of debt and figure out ways to try and own their own property. Get your own solar system if you can....not the ones that charge you a monthly fee that you never own. If you can get to where you can live with no rent/mortgage and no power bill, you can be a lot more comfortable if hyperinflation hits. 

Sure, have some stuff to barter with, but if you read about what's happened in Argentina, you will find the bartering system there hasn't worked that well. But ya, booze would be a great way to bribe a government official or something to that effect, but I wouldn't expect it to provide all my needs. 

New_Meat's picture

There goes the neighbourhood again ;-)

wholy1's picture


just. another parasitic financial "advisor"/fraudster, investor/trader.

Stu Elsample's picture

'prepper' or not, BUY AMMO...lots of it.


Radical Marijuana's picture

That was an egregiously STUPID article! Any "prepper" worth their "salt" recognizes that their worst enemy, after some sufficiently serious Crises, will be their "government." Furthermore, I have never yet encountered any "prepper" who is fully prepared to respond to that problem!

Lost in translation's picture

First The Economist, now WaPo.

When the pro-State, media/propaganda machine devotes considerable space to covering "preppers" and nutters like Rawles, there's a reason behind it...

Graph's picture

Ever watched funny selfie moments?

His post = taking a selfie.

Comments = surprise wave splash.

dexter_morgan's picture

Even if humans are living as savages, at some point as we rebuild, preppers and survivors will need bankers too.

Had to go and ruin a perfectly good article.........

Kefeer's picture

Gun Control – Coming Soon To Your Locale
~This is how it will happen~

They won’t be going door to door as they’re too cowardly for that.

Everybody will receive a certified letter in the mail stating that you must turn your firearms and ammo in to the nearest law enforcement establishment within 180 days and you will receive a tax voucher for $200 for each hand gun, $300 for each shotgun, $400 for each long gun, $100 for any amount of ammo or reloading products.

When you renew any license you will sign a document stating you possess no firearms.

When you renew any insurance policy you will sign that document.

When you enroll your child in a school you will sign that document.

The banks and the state and federal tax collectors will require you to sign that document.

The media will broadcast a message continuously that if you are caught with a firearm or supplies you will be incarcerated at hard labor for a period of no less than 10 years in a federal penitentiary.

The media will also run PSA’s that a reward of $1000 will be given to anyone providing direct information that leads to the conviction of any and all violators of the gun ban. Your family and friends and neighbors will become Quislings and turn your ass in. There will be many false alarms, revenge calls, etc.

In 1 year the entire country will have become completely pussified and all of the honorable patriots will have been exterminated.

Criminals from top to bottom will reign supreme.


synthetically derived's picture

Hmm, do you suppose that a nationwide gun ban will be any less of a failure than was the (constitutional) nationwide ban on alcohol? I note that when the Feds outlawed gold (in private hands) in the thirties, only about a third of the gold was actually turned in (or confiscated from safety deposit boxes).  

Lost in translation's picture

In such a country as the one you describe, we'd be better off dead, anyway.

Either the Progressives (Bolsheviks) have to go, or we do. It's really just as simple as that.

"Let's get down," I say...

Xanadu_doo's picture

I can't find the comment after logging in, but someone asked about cereal rye cover crops ...

Yes. Lots of people use them very successfully, as well as mixed species including clover, tillage radishes and many others.

Depending on where you live and what you're going for -- different cover crops do different things. but all help reduce erosion, recycle nutrients and improve soil health.

There's a great resource available here: http://www.mccc.msu.edu/ 



brushhog's picture

None of that is going to happen. The government has enormous resources, weapons, and manpower. You can bet that long before any collapse happens they will be ready to assume control. Think of the TRILLIONS that have been spent on weapons, satellites and military equipment...do you think that stuff is going to lay around rusting while you get to keep your preps? They are going to employ that stuff IMMEDIATELY...fast and hard. Marshal law, curfews, check points, rationing, etc.

How will they pay for all of it? They wont, you will. They will jack taxes up to the moon. If you cant pay they take your property and auction it off, the money funds whatever they need. They'll cut deals with the huge agri-farms so they can keep their land and produce food for the government to ration/distribute. You'll get a cot in a FEMA camp and a work camp shovel if you cant afford your tax.

northern vigor's picture

This is the way it happened behind the Iron Curtain. My dad told me 50 years ago that when things get bad, the governments will force farmers to produce cheap food to keep cities from rioting. I asked how? He said they will tax farmland high enough to force farmers to work, to keep their land.


Lost in translation's picture

John Wesley, Rawles = John Wesley, DEAD

CAPT DRAKE's picture

Some basic rules for prepping.

1.  Nobody takes your prep unless you give it to them or you are dead.   This includes the inevitable raiding cops.

2.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  For example, a jar of unopened peanut butter will last 6 years, and will provide the energy you need.  

3.  Any planning beyond 6 months is complicated.   Consider if it is really worth it, as after 6 months things will never be the same and a "Mad Max" senerio is most likely.

4.  Silver, gold is only useful for very long term senerios.   Better spend the money on food and stuff.

5.  Shelter in place is the rule.   Moving about will get you killed. 

6.  Medical supplies are useful, but more useful and important is hygine and staying injury free.  Lots of soap, alcohol etc will prevent problems.   Any serious injury is certain death.


the edge of chaos's picture

well these articles are fun to read....because they are so stupid. Since we dont know WHAT exactly will happen we dont know how people will react. IF it is a complete collapse then watch the movie The Road....there won`t be any trading going on....just brutality, violence and death on a scale unseen in human history. "preppers close to ANY population center will have a huge and instant target on their location and be under constant attack. They will be some of the 1st ones dead....

Lost in translation's picture

After which organized crime syndicates move on rural areas, on the which they've performed quiet recon, FOR. YEARS.

Kagemusho's picture

How it all might go down. Alas, Brave New Babylon by Matt Bracken  https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/bracken-alas-brave...

It ain't pretty.

fingulas's picture

Booze? Fick that. I can brew booze in about 1-2 weeks

Guns?  You'll have almost no need for them even in SHTF scenarios.


No one wants your weed...it's too easy to buy and grow.


Know what EVERYONE wants in the U.S. that cannot be PRODUCED in the U.S.?




That's right, stock up on Coffee.  A pot of fresh-brewed coffee will be worth a fortune at the right time and place.


Where do you think all those starbucks addicts are going to be doing in TSHTF?  They'll be paying me their hard-earned dollars for a smooth cup of fresh hoe.

Totin's picture

Coffee?!? No way bud. Powdered caffeine is going to be all the rage. You can't brew a decent cup of coffee without electricity. That cowboy sludge don't cut it. Powdered caffeine can be put in water or food. Erbody is going to be seeking me out when SHTF.

the edge of chaos's picture

then you`ll be dead in the first 10 minutes...


oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Ah, I see.  Apparently, after the SHTF, we still need bankers?? LOL.  Nice try.

hxc's picture

Love your username. Rock on

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Ah, I see.  Apparently, after the SHTF, we still need bankers?? LOL.  Nice try.

Beltain's picture

So wait. Is this article saying that food and other essentials will be worth nothing in a collapse situation? Seems to me a prepper can sell a tomato just as easy as a bottle of whiskey when the time comes. Just might have a different buyer. Something tells me there will be more future in selling to the tomato eater over the whiskey drinker in a collapse situation though.


gdpetti's picture

Well, as expected, but after the 'dark' star crosses the ecliptic and does its thing, that "low probability, high impact" event might seem to be quite the opposite, but then most of our history books have been deleted of this content, so it isn't surprising that most so-called 'preppers' haven't heard of it... and maybe it's better that way? Isn't this how the 'disaster' movies usually play it? Not until the impossible becomes unavoidable will most people even contemplate this probability, as it's been deleted from their minds their entire lives.

Iconoclast421's picture

Preppers are so dumb. The financial system isnt going to collapse. We could have WWWIII with a simulataneous pandemic, bombs going off everywhere and 2 billion dead... and we will still have a financial system.

knotjammin2's picture

My guess is when you were in school you didn't do well in American History.  Especially chapters covering from 1928-1945.  

TeaClipper's picture

During WW2 in the UK, food was rationed, but their was a burgeoning black market, swapping butter for eggs or bacon etc. Highly illegal but it was rife, and is a good indication of how things can work in times of need. When food was scarce and rationed, people didn't want to barter with money, they wanted other food items.

This is how it will be, it will take time before things like silver will be a useful medium of trade. A family that has eggs and bacon, but no milk or butter will only want to trade their food, for differnt food.


Amy G. Dala's picture

You mean like the WWIII, pandemic and bombs that cratered Venezuela?  Or are they just stupid brownies, believing their leaders had a magic free sh$t spigot, and they would leave it on forever?

I bet you smile at your reflection in the ATM.

DarthVaderMentor's picture

Actually, "accelerated lead" is no longer in style anymore among the "avant-garde preppers". It's "accelerated copper bullets" with a new bullet nose design by Underwood. Much more penetration than lead and bigger wound channels. The gun control folks trying to ban guns by banning lead in ammunition as an environmental haphzard excuse are beside themselves! Thanks to the gun control freaks we've got better ammunition that in some cases even penetrates further than lead (and thus even penetrating type II bullet resistant vests now!), has a bigger, better wound channel and is lighter to haul around! Nothing like good old American innovation to overcome socialist government liberal thinking in action....

Just look at Underwood extreme defender bullets here tested: 



Aubiekong's picture

In a true collapse, No matter how well armed you are there will come a day when those who have nothing will come to your bug out location or homestead to take what you have stored.  You might shoot some of them but they wont go away and in the end you will be overrun.  If there is any form of government left it will be a military/police that you will be fighting to defend your hoard. Its best to share your food and stores with your neighbors as soon as you can so you wont be killed for it later...

brushhog's picture

So you'd rather starve then get shot? OK

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Share your food or become food.

Beltain's picture

You think refugees with nothing are going to tranverse miles out into the country? On nothing? 99% of city folk wouldn't even make it 2 miles on foot anyway and once cops start looting for their masters they better be doing a whole lot of recruiting before they start.


Nunyadambizness's picture

Do you really think that a group of people wouldn't start running away if someone started shooting those in the front?  Do you think they'd just keep approaching in the hopes the person runs out of bullets? 

While I don't disagree that one should help others when and where possible, I think your initial premise is wrong.  "They'll take my stuff when they've killed me and I don't need it anymore", is the likely thought process for most of these preppers.

shamus001's picture

Bingo! Actually, my personal meme is to provide for up to 1 dozen people (arms wise and crops) because 12 people can mow down a crap load of desperate raiders far better than one!

Plus its nice to have some women meandering about your compound. Im not a big fan of sausage fests.

the edge of chaos's picture

skinny, coked up whores with big fake tits will be a dime a dozen,,, I cant wait!

Goldbugger's picture

Salvo who survived the Bosnia war when their country collapsed in the 90's said that the best thing he had was Ammo and alcohol, used it for food and anthing else he needed. At first people wanted Gold and silver to barter, then ammo and alcohol. Then meds and doctoring skills. Meds are synthesized from herbal plants. Learn your herbs and you have meds. Learn how to make wine and beer and you have alcohol. Grow your own grapes and hops and grains. Grow your own medicinal herbs, beter start this now. Even though in my opinion we only have another  1- 2 good years before the great reset.  Learn a skill, your desk job will get you nowhere if the systems collapse. Personally I don't think it will be as bad as all the doom and gloomers say. There will only be a few % that will really be ready if the shit hits the fan. If things go Nuclear then it's game over either way. You probably won't want to survive a  major strike.

Amy G. Dala's picture

Yes indeed.  Antiboitics, sutures, myriad disinfectants (iodine swabs, triple AB gel, bleach, peroxide), anesthetic and delivery,  sutures, non-stick pads, gauze, tape, irrigants.  It helps to have a DEA license (or a doc friend who has one).  Meds have much longer shelf life than the pharm people would have you believe.

In my line of work, forceps kit and hand instruments too.  Only thing worse than a SHTF sceneario is a SHTF scenerio with a tooth ache that only gets worse.  Worse fucking pain in the world, no price is too big to escape it.

YourAverageJoe's picture

You're right about dental pain.

The most important people in the post shtf world will be the medical people. In fact, they will probably be the leadership in that time.

Osmium's picture
"What Preppers haven't Prepped for - the big gaping hole"

Is the author talking about Yellen?


Zero-Hegemon's picture

Perhaps a Killery administration

Or the Pit of Sarlacc

Is there a difference?

J Jason Djfmam's picture

I am certain that far and wide, preppers will put bankers "on the road", if not "on the rope"



shovelhead's picture

He's right about one thing. a $10 good genetic weed seed can produce tons of cannabis to trade with for pennies of input.

Cornmeal shine is a lot more labor and cost but could be used to round out your offerings. Keep your garden for yourself and make sure you have plenty of canning supplies.

RabbitOne's picture

Financial prepping is not that hard to do. It has been discussed 10,000 times on prepping sites with as many possible out comes as can be explained. 

The closest thing to consensus is 

-Prep first and be prepared with personal defense, water, food, etc...

-Decide on the risk and build a case for the hard good that may have value post SHFT.

-Keep emergency cash on hand if a bank holiday or bail-in happens because the system will function for awhile

-Decide how much in the way of Beans, Bullets and Booze to keep on hand for barter

-Define a how PM’s can offset losses in fiat based assets.


there are a lot more variations and solutions but these are the ones discussed the most.

Kagemusho's picture

If/when the SHTF, pharmaceuticals will quickly become major barter goods (especially SSRIs), but after the supplies are exhausted, it will be back to growing medicinal plants of all kinds. Yes, even opium poppies, which you can get from flower shops, just lean the fancy Latin names and ask for those. Even some of the poppy seeds you get as condiments are still viable, and there's usually thousands in those bottles. You can grow them, but not (legally) harvest them.  After the SHTF I doubt anyone from DEA will come calling. Time to get a book on old herbal preparations that great-great-Grandma used to make...