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alabaster

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Hello, all. I have been talking to mastercajun, Clydesdale, Lindy, and others about starting this thread. It seems that many of us have stories that have caused us to become preppers. Something happened and we thought, "Man. If only I had brought my ____." or "WHEW! I'm glad I thought to bring this. I couldn't have imagined this happening without it!" Either way, something happened that helped convince us that being prepared is an important thing. Many of us are outdoorsmen/women and have understood this since we were kids. Some picked it up in the military. Some went through Katrina, Sandy, earthquakes, and all kinds of other situations that showed us many people perish when we're not prepared. Many of us that are prepared tend to get by MUCH better in times like this. I'm posting this so you all would take a moment to tell us your story. What have you been through if anything, that made you grateful for being prepared? Was it something that made you wish you had been better prepared?
 

alabaster

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Bam! That's a toughy, but you made it! What are you doing nowadays to make sure you're not grubbin' on taters for a month if something does happen again?

I have a lot of them I think, but I will start with this since I think it is one of the most important points to surviving any situation:

I crashed a motorcycle once when I was 15. I was doing 65mph with no shoes and no helmet. I shredded my leather belt, shirt, jeans, and flesh like you can't imagine. I crushed my skull and had some BAD wounds. I was unconscious for a second and when I came to, I saw my brother had almost lost his leg. I went into shock and tried to walk home to take a shower and get in bed. My parents saw my brother an I walking(One of my buddies had run home to tell them what had happened). They made me get in the car to go to the hospital. My brother was freaking out about dying from blood loss. he was getting faint(he ended up needing a blood transfusion from the blood loss) and was thinking he was bleeding out. Somehow I knew I was even worse off but I stayed cool as best I could so I wouldn't freak him out worse or make my Mom come apart. I made it through that with nothing but scars on my flesh to prove it to this day(Other than the countless witnesses still in my life that will vouch for it!). I managed to not go into shock and later in life realized that it could have very well saved my life.

The power of the mind and your survival mindset is paramount to your survival in ANY crisis situation. I have had numerous emergencies that I will share later in this thread that brought the memories right back and MADE me keep cool. I can't say I'm unshakeable or unbreakable, but I can say that I realize looking at things factually and calmly will help you figure out HOW TO SURVIVE. If you lose it, you'll lose it. That simple. Sometimes you can't keep it together, and everyone panics sometimes, but you must control yourself. If you get nervous, scared, angry, or start to panic, it's okay. You just have to understand that this is all human nature and that you can calm down if you really want to. In fact, you have to calm down whether you want to or not if you are to survive.
 

Colt 1911

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Bam! That's a toughy, but you made it! What are you doing nowadays to make sure you're not grubbin' on taters for a month if something does happen again?

I have a lot of them I think, but I will start with this since I think it is one of the most important points to surviving any situation:

I crashed a motorcycle once when I was 15. I was doing 65mph with no shoes and no helmet. I shredded my leather belt, shirt, jeans, and flesh like you can't imagine. I crushed my skull and had some BAD wounds. I was unconscious for a second and when I came to, I saw my brother had almost lost his leg. I went into shock and tried to walk home to take a shower and get in bed. My parents saw my brother an I walking(One of my buddies had run home to tell them what had happened). They made me get in the car to go to the hospital. My brother was freaking out about dying from blood loss. he was getting faint(he ended up needing a blood transfusion from the blood loss) and was thinking he was bleeding out. Somehow I knew I was even worse off but I stayed cool as best I could so I wouldn't freak him out worse or make my Mom come apart. I made it through that with nothing but scars on my flesh to prove it to this day(Other than the countless witnesses still in my life that will vouch for it!). I managed to not go into shock and later in life realized that it could have very well saved my life.

The power of the mind and your survival mindset is paramount to your survival in ANY crisis situation. I have had numerous emergencies that I will share later in this thread that brought the memories right back and MADE me keep cool. I can't say I'm unshakeable or unbreakable, but I can say that I realize looking at things factually and calmly will help you figure out HOW TO SURVIVE. If you lose it, you'll lose it. That simple. Sometimes you can't keep it together, and everyone panics sometimes, but you must control yourself. If you get nervous, scared, angry, or start to panic, it's okay. You just have to understand that this is all human nature and that you can calm down if you really want to. In fact, you have to calm down whether you want to or not if you are to survive.
Wow, gnarly ! great story great advise.
 

alabaster

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Well, I have another one that's not so dramatic and not so long ago...

We(A group of fellow preppers and militia) went out on a cold-weather camping trip a few weeks back. The idea was to get out in uncomfortable weather and practice some survivalist and primitive living skills. We were taking out tents and all kinds of "Comforts", but as a last ditch idea. The main goal was to try and purify water, make primitive shelters, start fire from scratch, and NOT eat canned and pre-prepped foods.

We checked the weather and it looked good even though we had gotten snow not too long before. The day or so since the snow fall, it had warmed up a bit and the snow cleared out and things were pretty much dry. Well that was here. Where we went was a good 2 hrs south-west from us. When we got there, it was FAR colder than home, and they had gotten POUNDED with snow. We pulled off into the parking area to gear up and begin our 4+mile hike to the site. As we cam off the road it was instantly clear that we were in for more than we'd bargained for. We all jumped out and geared up and began following the guy with the most experience in this area. He also has the most navigational experience in general, so we were trusting of his leadership. We began our hike at around noon. By about 1330, we were looking at each other and could see we were all seriously fatigued. Some of the snow was up over my knee! One of our members kept falling every 5-10minutes too. She was getting more and more tired with every fall on top of the fatigue of hiking through 1ft+ deep snow. You can imagine how tiring this would be to an in shape person. She and I were not what you would call "In our prime". Not on this trip anyways. She's much younger than I, but neither one of us had been exercising much and hadn't really been hiking much lately either. We began to have some discussions about how far we would go and what we would do if we didn't make it to camp. It was painfully obvious we wouldn't make it to camp. The trail was only about 3ft wide and on a STEEP incline, so making camp there was going to be difficult to say the least. We weren't allowed to cut wood here, only scavenge. This made the prospects of starting a fire a much different thing, too. I was worried that we wouldn't get to camp and would be too far from the vehicles if night fall crept up on us. I wanted to clear this up and clear it up fast. I know some of the younger folks wanted to march on, but I had serious reservations. I couldn't help but think we were going to end up trying to navigate back in the dark while it was FREEZING cold, or we were going to have to make-due and try for a fire and camp on the trail.

I'm glad I talked them into turning around. It wasn't how I wanted this trip to go, but I had much bigger things on my mind now that nature had entered into it! We all agreed we had less than "Half a tank" left. I told them it would start to run out a lot faster than the first half had. We should really be thinking of getting back since we were now racing against sunset, too. We got about 500yds from the parking area and the trail veered off in two directions. There are blazes on the trails here, but they went in TWO directions! One other member and myself found ourselves at the bottom of the ridge debating if it was best to go down to the highway or try to get back up the mountain to the rest of the group. Just then I heard one of them yelling and another one with a whistle. We called out and decided to head back up. Once we got up there, we stopped to replenish fluids and have a snack. Then we decided to leave......

Don't ya know?! We had 4x4 trucks out there and the snow was so deep and the terrain so treacherous that we were STUCK!
ALL OF US!! We grabbed out the shovels and started having at it. I can tell you one thing. I'm glad we came back when we did. Had we stayed out there, no doubt in my mind that we would have had trouble. It took us 3.5hrs to dig out of the parking area. Taking turns shoveling and working the trucks to get 'em out was no joke. I really think though that if we had stayed things would have gotten bad. If we could have been sure we'd make it to camp, it would have been harsh, but we could have set-up and gotten a fire going faster. This way we couldn't even see any firewood around. The snow was deep and wet so the wood wouldn't have been that good for a fire, anyways. If this had been a REAL survival situation, we would have HAD to make it happen. We would've done everything we could to get some decent shelter and a good fire going. Putting ourselves in what very well could've become a REAL survival situation wasn't a very good idea though.

I learned a few things on this trip. 1) Never trust the weather man. Even checking for that specific zip code, the weather was supposed to be MUCH different than it was. The snow was supposed to have been a max of 8in two days before. It should've melted down below 4in by the time we were headed out. 2) Always think down the line. I don't think anyone would've thought that we would run out of gas so early in the day. The difference in terrain and the snow/weather made it so much harder than we had expected. 3) Don't let pride control the ride. There were a couple times that I was almost embarrassed to bring up the idea of turning around. I really wanted to keep going and NOT be the one to ruin this for the whole pack. I'm glad I did though. Everyone was in agreement once I had saidI was sure I wanted to head back. No one wanted to trudge on, but no one would say it, either. 4) TEAM WORK. Doing his alone isn't impossible, but it would've been MUCH harder. Physically and mentally, it would have been MUCH more difficult. Making the decision to turn back would've been easier, but getting back on track after getting off the trail would've proven tricky at best. We could've headed down the mountain and back up the road, but it would've been dark and we would have been walking in traffic at 55mph in PITCH DARK. Too, getting the truck(s) out would've been crazy. I couldn't imagine manning a shovel for that long without a break or without someone stepping in for a minute. It took all we had to get out of there as a group so 1 man might've ended up camping at the parking area!
 
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jimLE

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i havent been trough what at least most of you been through..but over the years i've asked my self that one queston that most folks ask them selfs.WHAT IF?? what if this happens?,what if that happens? then i started whatching the tv show doomsday preppers.in which quiet a few did make good points in one way or another.pluse i did some hitchhikeing in my 20's where there were days i went hungry from no money n no food.i get emails from diffrent sites about this n that.the diff wars ect ect. all this got me to thinking,WHAT IF?..well i simply dont want to be stuck haveing to asking my self that queston simply because i didnt prepare for it..so i started prepping
 

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I grew up in a slum in Brisbane Australia.
My parents never had much money and they kicked me out of school even though I topped grade 9 and 10 in my class.
They didn't understand that I wanted to plan a future and become a physical training instructor and maths teacher, and get out of the slum.
In the end, I decided to leave home at 16 and live on the streets and in the bush/woods.
I wasn't well prepared and it was winter, but no snow.
I was picked up by the police for break and enter, trying to keep warm one night. The Justice of the Peace who had to be present because I was under age, turned a blind eye and I was beaten up by the police and forced to sign a statement that I was guilty of crimes I didn't commit.
I was placed in a children's prison, initially in maximum security, with rapists and murderers who were 14-16 years old. This wasn't too bad because of the amount of guards and the open cell policy.
When I was placed in medium security, that's when the fun began. I was attacked every day or two but luckily I could wrestle and fight OK so it wasn't too bad and kept me on my toes.
However, I did have time to reflect about living in the woods (which was good, I had no food and had to be self reliant) and living on the streets (where scum tried to assault me or ambush me each night when in the city) and being in the prison with some of the most dysfunctional kids you can imagine, who were going to spend most of their lives achieving nothing except more jail time.

I planned to join the Army and this saved me and became my main focus. I joined two years later, after working and developing life skills. I became a physical training instructor and later on instructed in many areas of Army (becoming more skilled than most and always volunteering to learn more) to where I am now, in charge of a training unit. I retired at age 48 and moved to Vietnam but skill work part time giving back since I feel it's the right thing to do.
My main skills have been as an instructor and planner, and I always prep for the foreseen and unforeseen.
Occasionally shit still happens but I just see it as a challenge and I find solutions.
 

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I grew up in a slum in Brisbane Australia.
My parents never had much money and they kicked me out of school even though I topped grade 9 and 10 in my class.
They didn't understand that I wanted to plan a future and become a physical training instructor and maths teacher, and get out of the slum.
In the end, I decided to leave home at 16 and live on the streets and in the bush/woods.
I wasn't well prepared and it was winter, but no snow.
I was picked up by the police for break and enter, trying to keep warm one night. The Justice of the Peace who had to be present because I was under age, turned a blind eye and I was beaten up by the police and forced to sign a statement that I was guilty of crimes I didn't commit.
I was placed in a children's prison, initially in maximum security, with rapists and murderers who were 14-16 years old. This wasn't too bad because of the amount of guards and the open cell policy.
When I was placed in medium security, that's when the fun began. I was attacked every day or two but luckily I could wrestle and fight OK so it wasn't too bad and kept me on my toes.
However, I did have time to reflect about living in the woods (which was good, I had no food and had to be self reliant) and living on the streets (where scum tried to assault me or ambush me each night when in the city) and being in the prison with some of the most dysfunctional kids you can imagine, who were going to spend most of their lives achieving nothing except more jail time.

I planned to join the Army and this saved me and became my main focus. I joined two years later, after working and developing life skills. I became a physical training instructor and later on instructed in many areas of Army (becoming more skilled than most and always volunteering to learn more) to where I am now, in charge of a training unit. I retired at age 48 and moved to Vietnam but skill work part time giving back since I feel it's the right thing to do.
My main skills have been as an instructor and planner, and I always prep for the foreseen and unforeseen.
Occasionally shit still happens but I just see it as a challenge and I find solutions.

Dang man, you had it rough but you came out of it and made it ! GOOD JOB my hats off too ya. Oh yeah if you every want to get rid of your sak's " ha ha " i'll take them off your hands.
 

Strop2

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Many people had it tougher than me.
Ironic - last year I worked fulltime in charge of a program to train people on parole from prison or at risk of going to prison or others to develop their life skills so they could find fulltime employment. It was very successful - I told the kids my story, great program.
AND NO - you can't have my SAKs. I have two Leathermans but like the SAKs more - go figure.
 

Evolon73

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My wife. Having her with me really killed the whole laughable Lone Wolf mentality. Killed the "Oh I'll just get by somehow attitude."
Then the show expanded that by showing me just how woefully unprepared for ANYthing I was. Started seeing the world around me.
And my grandparents were kind of Preppers. Canned goods, Shotguns & Compound bows, freezers full of deer, & squirrel. They moved just south of Shelbyville IL next to a fully stocked pond. Surrounded by woods with creeks. He plants gardens and fruit trees. Wood burning stoves.... suddenly I pulled my head out of my video games and saw them in a new light.

Now I look at them and say stuff like... you don't have BOBs or a BOL?! No well on the property? What about hand guns... Grandma went and retrieved a Magnum .357 that looked like a bazooka in her tiny hands and said "Don't think I haven't shot this plenty of times." I was like "Damn okay *Check*"

It is rather addictive and kinda fun
 

DrHenley

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Not a single event, but cumulative experiences over many years.

I was a Red Cross Disaster Action Team member in the late 1970s, and saw how communities responded to disasters. I've seen the best and worst of how people respond to disaster.

I worked at a company owned by a guy that was a "survivalist", which is what we called preppers back then. He hoarded copper pennies and glass jars. That was my first exposure to the global SHTF mentality. I wasn't really convinced, but it did make me think about it.

I've had in the back of my mind that I needed to do something to prepare for certain eventualities, but wasn't really sure what.

When Obama was elected the first time, I got caught with my pants down with respect to ammunition. I was actively participating in matches and I got to the point that I could no longer participate because I couldn't find any reloading bullets for my 45 ACP. At that time 22 ammo was still available so I bought a 22 caliber slide for my 1911 and practiced using 22 ammo, even though I could not use it in the matches. Then I started casting bullets and was able to start shooting matches again.

This time around I was prepared...lesson learned!

The book One Second After got me thinking that I needed to get serious about prepping.

My brother in law and I have had some discussions over the last few years about what we needed to do at our family farm to make it into a suitable BOL for the whole extended family - without breaking the bank. We got my other two brothers in law on board and have begun the preparations. We've built a simple barn and the next step is to bring in a portable sawmill and cut some trees and stack the lumber in the barn for future use.
 

ChancesR

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I started researching prepping and old skills when the Obama*nation took over lol... I cannt say something big happened to me that I was glad I started stocking up on foods, cleaning supplys, and learned how to sew but I have enjoyed myself in the process and I have yet to regret that and probably never will... I dont think the world is going to end but I do think life is going to get more and more expensive and harder to get by. my only experience with emergencies was the time I was a kid and we were snowed in for three months with out electricity for some of that on top of a mountain in the Poconos PA... we survived but I like the fact that I live in TEXAS now!...
 

Clyde

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For me it is pretty simple. I live in earthquake country so I always had a few items to carry me through for about a week.
Well,.......
That changed when clinton took office, and I really started noticing a shift in how this country was being run, and where it was headed.
This was further reinforced with the major disasters we have had, Katrina, and Sandy. Plus the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011.
Now with obama and holder running the show in the "Just-Us" department it has become very evident that there is a certain disaster looking on the horizon.
 

alabaster

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For me there were a series of events that changed my outlook on certain things. I am often VERY close to DC, and sometimes in the city itself. Once, I was almost ran off the road by an old drunk guy( I was actually a passenger in someone else's truck). When we got where we were heading, he had followed us and began yelling, cursing, and threatening us with a pipe wrench and telling us he had a pistol under the seat that he would be more than glad to shoot us with if we didn't STFU and mind what he was saying. I was about 17 then. Things finally calmed down and we talked about what we "Should have done" and all the "What if's" about the situation. I was scared to death when that happened and thought about how unprepared I was if he had decided to swing that wrench or grab his gun. I had been jumped and robbed by two guys and almost beaten to death. I had a cracked eye socket, stitches, a broken nose, and countless other more "Minor" injuries. I almost went down though and I was afraid that if I had, I would have been stomped to death. I decided to fight back, adn when I did, they took off IMMEDIATELY. I figured I'd never get caught with my pants down again. I had always been around guns and shot a lot, but I was about to turn 21, and I decided to take advantage of it. I started studying, training, working at a major manufacturer, and eventually started competing with handguns. I did a little with shotguns and carbines, but mostly tactical stuff that I've tried to stay up on through the years. Those were the main issues that got me into firearms, training, and that aspect of preparedness.

I once got caught out in Virginia when a blizzard hit. I was with a buddy and our girlfriends. We were a ways away from home without much other than fall-time clothes(Which was under dressed even if it hadn't snowed at all). We ended up ducking into an old barn on an abandoned farm and climbing into the loft where we found a few old moving blankets. We snuggled up in there with nothing but 4 people, cigarettes, and our lighters. This was long before the age of cell phones. There was hay in the barn and woods close by, so we were able to get a fire going, but we had nothing to eat and nothing to drink. "Almost 2 days" doesn't sound like a long time, but when you're teenagers without any real skills and you're in the sticks, with NO supplies, it gets scary in a hurry. We were pretty much city kids at that age. I had some uncles that hunted and some neighbors, so I started going with them. I also took a backpack everywhere I went after that with the beginnings of a BOB. my cigarettes, a lighter, something to drink, and a knife. Not a whole lot of stuff, but a lot more than "Nothing".

I'm sure these weren't all the things that had sparked a change in me, as there were things as recent as last year that made me rethink certain things in my pack or that weren't part of my kit. I guess it's a never ending journey that makes me reconsider what I'm doing and what I have at that moment. Are certain things adding to the weight and not really adding much value, or is there something very important that I'm leaving behind? A lot depends on what I'm doing and how long, like camping, hiking, hunting, etc. This definitely translates over to the prepping aspect, whether I'm prepping to hunker down or to bug out.
 

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I've had nothing specific happen that encouraged me to prep. I've been through a few hurricanes here but never had to leave my home or go without anything. I think it's just been watching the news too much and seeing all of the horrible things happening not just in our country but all over the world.

I've made the decision to begin living as if the SHTF starting next month. I have quite a few preps already but I'll spend the next month acquiring what I believe to be a few more essentials. Then I'm going to turn off the electric at the breaker and shut off the city water valve. Of course, I won't have the threat of roving gangs and I will always know in the back of my mind that I have the option of turning the water and electric back on. And, of course, I'll still have to mail the mortgage check every month! I think this will show up the clear deficiencies in my preps which I will be able to rectify fairly easily. I think it's going to be good practice.

No plans to give up the internet, though, so I'll keep you all posted on how it goes.
 

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For me it was a gradual process and then one really spontaneous move that sealed it.

Until the age of 9 I grew up camping just about every other weekend. I have loved the out doors and don't really like being inside. The first 'real' exposer I had to prepping was the doomsday prepper show but didn't really do anything about it. I then had it in the back of my mind. Up until about 3 years ago that was just a passing thought but then I bought a book called surviving the zombie apocolasps written by Max Brooks (I think that is the tittle). This didn't really do much at the time but there was a section in it about preparing ahead of time. Again, it was just a thought that went through my mind. About 2 years ago I went on a camping trip that was supposed to simulate a plane crash. It was a really bad experience that showed me how un prepared I was to deal with survival situations. Just at the same time I bought another book called how to survive the end of the world as we know it. Between those 2 situations I really started to think about prepping but still I was tentative to start anything. It was about a year ago that I made the bold move to "procure" some items from around the house and build a BOB. I then signed up to this site and aince than I've been a prepper.
 

Roninsensei

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I come from a long line of prepper type family mentality. I also, being a security contractor, have personally witnessed the fall of societies(Chad, Somalia, and Uzbekistan) these an others convinced me that this will never happen to me or mine.
 

Tyler

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Kinda ironically,

The day I posted that we had a power outage. It didn't last long but my brother freaked out. It was funny at they made some jokes about ky prepping but the other day for like 5 minutes I was in charge. Within a minute in the dark everyone had flashlights that I had handed out from my BOB. Knew exactly where everything was and didn't need to look. The power came back on quickly thankfully but my brother wouldn't give up my flashlight so I traded him for a color that he liked more than the purple one he was holding. All in all it wasn't a massive situation but one that showed my farher and brother that I knew what I was doing and I was ready for this kind of thing.
 

robinjopo

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Y2k brought it to my attention more than anything else. I was often alone with my two children one of which is special needs. My family has always canned tomatoes and beans so that part came naturally.
 

Brent S

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Y2k brought it to my attention more than anything else. I was often alone with my two children one of which is special needs. My family has always canned tomatoes and beans so that part came naturally.
It just always made sense to me. I've always believed in saving or 'investing' during the good times to help cover the rough times in life. At 52 yrs old I can guarantee that life has ups and downs, so being prepared isn't a movement or fad, it's just smart. As far as the rural life I've made here, well it's about quality as much as 'prepping'. I now eat hardly any processed foods, hardly ever sit in traffic, and have very low stress. The food I grow not only is healthier, but tastes a lot better too. I often joke about how a third deer crossing the road is a bad day in traffic now days. As far as stress, I've gotten more satisfaction from learning to raise animals and grow fruits and vegetables than anything else I've ever done. When you're doing something you enjoy, the stress just goes away.
 
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