Author Topic: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)  (Read 9226 times)

Offline scottlas

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James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« on: November 20, 2013, 10:21:42 AM »
All,

Just backtracked last evening to catch up on some old podcasts I've missed over the past few weeks.  I've really been looking forward to listening to the James Rawles interview because I have a tremendous amount of respect for this guy as a survival author.  Like many newly converted "preppers", I was substantially persuaded and motivated to begin my prepper lifestyle largely in thanks to his books. 

During the interview on episode #1242, I got the sense that Mr. Rawles strongly encouraged [NOW IS THE TIME] we should really focus on ramping up our survival "supplies" stockpile, and probably at a more-rapid speed that normal.  He offered his "List of Lists" spreadsheet as a guide which I promptly downloaded.   About the same time I started reviewing the spreadsheet he began stressing the importance of night-vision equipment and how we should all be developing redundancies in low light optics.

Let me stop right there.  Have you guys seen this list?  To start, it’s 9,000 pages of reference material and a lifetime-effort-accrual-amount of supplies.  And we're all supposed to be ramping this supply up in an equally distributed, diversified effort?

Two things come to mind when I reflect on this interview: 1) Mr. Rawles mentioning how we'll look back and think we've done all we can to prepare and protect our family; and 2) Me getting blown away only 2 days into a grid-down scenario with a $0.30 .410 shell by a confused and desperate member of the community rendering my ENTIRE stash of "well-balanced" supplies useless to my family who doesn't know what half this crap is.

My counterbalance (and argument) with this conflict of conscience is the thought of a diversely talented community.  Mr. Rawles said that people have a tendency to ramp up on certain supplies too heavily and neglect other supplies.  For instance, perhaps a doctor would ramp up on medical supplies and maybe not so much on, say, food storage. 

I question this: Considering we WERE interested in participating in a prepper-neighborhood community, would it not be more beneficial to go crazy stocking up on the things you or I (individually) are REALLY good at stockpiling – Be THAT guy for THAT service or supply for your community – as opposed to half-assing everything else because we’re supposed to be diversified?  I bet you there’d be a doctor in your neighborhood and maybe a nurse and a PA who you could convince to ramp up on medical supplies who would do a million times better than you ever could.  And breaking down the list-of-lists, we'd ID a communications expert, multiple fire arms experts, maybe even a few ex-service men and women. . . .

Just a thought but I'd like to know, in response to the podcast, am I trying to be too practical or is it more complicated than I am seeing it?

Thanks for your comments.

Scottlas
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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 11:30:10 AM »
Thank you for your comments on the show and while I haven't had a chance to listen to this particular episode, it is certainly what I expect from Mr. Rawles.  List of stuff.  I've known JWR since 1996 or 1997 and he likes stuff.  He likes talk about scenarios.  He's entertaining, and yes, educational, too.  However, balancing the real world we live in today (and have since 1997) and his imagined world has never been his forte.  That is up to the reader.

We live at what is likely to be looked back upon as the apogee of our culture and society.  Despite all the talk of violence, healthcare in crisis, and financial doom and gloom, the homicide rate in the US is less than half of what it was in the 1970s, the lifespan of Americans is 30 years longer than it was just 100 years ago, and most folks have technologies that were unimaginable in the wildest dreams of our grand parents in our homes, regardless of how bad the economy appears to be.  How long will this party continue?  Nobody knows.  Maybe it all falls apart next month, maybe not for another 50 years.  It might unravel to the dark ages or it might unravel to something not that much unlike today, just in a different structure around us.

Personally, I came to TSP because the message was different; it wasn't all doom and gloom.  The theme was building a better life, whether things went wrong or even if they don't.  I've been around this community of people now for about five years and I've made some damn fine friends through this forum, both the online types and folks I've broken bread with.  My perception of what I need to do to give my family that better life has evolved, too.  It has transformed from a basement full of buckets of wheat to a deep pantry, a large garden, and a flashlight that never leaves my side.  I've also been forced to re-examine my place of origins, somewhere many of us started out as folks who listened to Rawles; the lone wolf approach.  While JWR had is little group in Idaho, he wasn't a part of any kind of community and that is probably his biggest fault.  I don't care if you have 15 ex-spec ops guys who are as thick and thieves banded together, they'll never match the diversity, strength and power of a community in a small town or village. 

Personally, I've really enjoyed getting to know my community one member at a time since joining our local volunteer fire department.  Over that time I've received training, gained new friends, had unprecedented access to the nooks and crannies of my community, learned about many of the challenges folks face, and grown into a role where I've earned some respect with my neighbors.  It's just one of many paths that I'd suggest folks consider exploring.  Every community has volunteer organizations that contribute to the structure of the area, from mental health services to delivering meals to the aged and needy.  There's also business opportunities that can bring people together, whether it's a funky coffee shop where folks gather, a local watering hole, or a general store that everyone needs from time to time; the opportunities to network now, before things get tough, seem like a far better investment than a slick gadget that is likely to sit on your shelf until the batteries corrode before it ever gets called upon.

As you get to know folks in your community you build relationships.  Those relationships might involve your teenage daughter petsitting for the nurse down the road.  It might involve helping your neighbor install his new hardwood floor in exchange for him welding a new railing for your deck.  The possibilities are endless in a community, but it's far easier to get to know them now, before the SHTF than after trust is gone from your community.  Everybody complains about not feeling connected in their communities, but few folks ever take the time or take the initiative to do something about it.  Maybe you can put a garden in your front yard and hand out zucchini to your neighbors while they're walking their dogs and start a conversation about food production and gardening.  I have a potatoes for eggs exchange with one of my neighbors.

When the SHTF, wouldn't an entire community of 500-1,000 people be a lot better to have on your side than the two or three people you know who prep who live on opposite sides of the city? 

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 08:37:42 AM »
My perception of what I need to do to give my family that better life has evolved, too.  It has transformed from a basement full of buckets of wheat to a deep pantry, a large garden, and a flashlight that never leaves my side.  I've also been forced to re-examine my place of origins, somewhere many of us started out as folks who listened to Rawles; the lone wolf approach.  While JWR had is little group in Idaho, he wasn't a part of any kind of community and that is probably his biggest fault.  I don't care if you have 15 ex-spec ops guys who are as thick and thieves banded together, they'll never match the diversity, strength and power of a community in a small town or village.

Very good point endurance.  Buckets of food aren't going to do a whole lot of good in a real SHTF if they are the bulk of your preps.  And they'll do even less for improving your life if you never use them.

I have to admit that the book Patriot's (by Rawles) is what woke me up and transformed me from a grasshopper to an ant.  One day I decided to check out Rawles' forum and accidentally found TSP in the process (I thought it was Rawles' forum).  So once on TSP I looked around for a while, realizing it wasn't Rawles' forum but enjoying it none the less.  Then one day I decided I'd get back to finding Rawles' forum (after already having spent a good amount of time in TSP) and I was surprised by the differences in the types of people and the direction the threads were going.  It was all about being an ant, but lacked substance, sustainability, and in my opinion offered advice that would keep people on a budget from ever achieving a subsistence lifestyle and those currently enjoying a subsistence lifestyle could very likely move backwards. . .  Just my observation.  I haven't been back there in over a year.

.

Offline Marinesg1012

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2013, 11:19:52 AM »
where can one download this list of lists?

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2013, 11:47:47 AM »
I agree.  It's extremely difficult for me to justify spending large sums of money on things like surgical equipment that I'm not trained to use.  I understand the theory, that a skilled person will waddle into our group one day, and he'll know how to use this crap I've been hoarding.

If I ever get lottery rich, I might consider, but today there are plenty of things I use regularly that need stockpiling.  Should I spend $1000 on night vision gear, or $1000 on sanitation and paper products that my family is guaranteed to use in any circumstance.

Offline wraithe

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 05:56:24 PM »

Offline PolicePrepper

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 10:04:11 PM »
That link worked, but shit, that's a list! There's probably hundred's of thousands of dollars of stuff on that list!

Offline Marinesg1012

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2013, 01:23:50 PM »
That link worked, but shit, that's a list! There's probably hundred's of thousands of dollars of stuff on that list!
What's funny is that I don't even think it's all that complete. If I'm going to survive teotwawki, I'm going to want some things like a 50 pound box of 16p nails, a utility sink with biogas hot water in the mud room, and a chainsaw helmet with a flip-down screen, please. On the one hand he's included a lot, but until you're actually working toward self sufficiency and independence, it's hard to know all the little things you need.  How many mechanics do you know that have been on the business for a decade, but still buy something every month when the SnapOn truck stops by the shop? 

That's why the backpack buyout, I'm not coming home concept is just nuts to me. I don't simply want to survive. I want to be comfortable, with a margin for error, and have a happy family around me.

Offline PolicePrepper

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 07:39:44 AM »
Well I figured if there was ever a time where I needed all that, most of the world's population is dead lol. Its kinda like having his fortified country home in the middle of nowhere in Patriots...its nice to have, but not practical to have everything.

Offline Cedar

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 10:31:09 AM »
Personally, I've really enjoyed getting to know my community one member at a time since joining our local volunteer fire department.  Over that time I've received training, gained new friends, had unprecedented access to the nooks and crannies of my community, learned about many of the challenges folks face, and grown into a role where I've earned some respect with my neighbors.

As you get to know folks in your community you build relationships.  Those relationships might involve your teenage daughter petsitting for the nurse down the road.  It might involve helping your neighbor install his new hardwood floor in exchange for him welding a new railing for your deck.  The possibilities are endless in a community, but it's far easier to get to know them now, before the SHTF than after trust is gone from your community.  Everybody complains about not feeling connected in their communities, but few folks ever take the time or take the initiative to do something about it. 

And that is the main thing. Everyone complains, but no one goes and meets/hangs with anyone.

Make a local community online community. We have one for this area where I live. It has 127 people on it. My friend who lives in Canada on an island of 2,000 people has one. It is the great Grapevine! I learned about people in our community. I held a small Seedy Saturday about the second week I lived here in our 'community building' and it drew in gardening/homesteady type people. I just asked if I could hold one on the community online list. Then I had a 'base to work from' for like minded people.

We have given things to our community through that list, taken things from our community from that list. I met "T", got fertile duck eggs from him, taught him how to butcher/make sausage, he has shown me two Chanterelle patches, and I am supposed to help him butcher 2 goats this morning.

In 8 months, I think I know more than half the community here around the farm. At my last house, all the neighbors distanced themselves from each other. I think the tighter the living between houses, the more space people want in not knowing them. I know people 5 miles from here, but I did not know more than 3 of my neighbors at my last house.. as they did not want to and wanted to close themselves off for some reason.

So GET INVOLVED with your community. Hold a solstice or equinox party. Hold a sing-a-long, hold a community Bunco night, we have a weekly poker night here which I think is played with M&M's and pennies. Hold your own Seedy Saturday. Hold a prep awareness type class at your local church or grange or school community space. How about an Earth Day event? Get a community garden thing happening.. How about a couple hour community hike? Volleyball for the community. We do that here too.

Someone has to start a community thing to make community. Why not you? You know how much time it takes me to do my Seedy Saturday for 400+ people? Oh.. about 4 hours time from November to March-ish.. and then from 9 am to 4 pm on the day of the event.


About the list:
I feel I am pretty good on my 'preps' (my normal household/farm stuff) and it didn't cost me alot. But it did cost me years of time to collect this stuff. I had to do it on a budget.. so that is the way I had to do it. So what I am trying to say, is you really can make a 'good prep collection' on extremely limited funds and not need hundreds of thousands of dollars (unless you are buying land). If you say you can't, I will call you out on it. I know you can. I did it as a single mom with a baby on less than $400 a month income from doing writing from 2009-2013.


I agree.  It's extremely difficult for me to justify spending large sums of money on things like surgical equipment that I'm not trained to use.  I understand the theory, that a skilled person will waddle into our group one day, and he'll know how to use this crap I've been hoarding.

And things like this? What are the odds you are going to have a surgeon walk in for the tools? Sometimes it is also better to do nothing, than to attempt to use these tools and make the medical situation worse. And honestly, why I don't always recommend suturing things up. Sometimes it is better to let them granulate in or have a hellacious scar.

If I ever get lottery rich, I might consider, but today there are plenty of things I use regularly that need stockpiling.  Should I spend $1000 on night vision gear, or $1000 on sanitation and paper products that my family is guaranteed to use in any circumstance.

I think that you are going to have to pee before you need to run around outside requiring night vision over a flashlight to get to the loo.

What's funny is that I don't even think it's [the list] all that complete. 

I just opened that list. I hope those cattle salt licks are for other things besides people eating them. I used to chip off salt from the horse salt licks and eat them when I was little, but is the copper amounts in them and other minerals the amounts OK for humans?

Many sources say lime is not good for outhouses anymore..just use sawdust. SO I might scratch that off the list, unless I was going to use it to 'sweeten' the soil/pasture.

I don't like his livestock list. It is cut and dried for all places and scenarios. He says Jersey on there.. are you going to crossbreed that cow? Keep a Jersey bull, which is a trainwreck for someone who has not worked with them (which is actually pretty dangerous -- they have at one time been called the most dangerous animal in North America -- yeah a Jersey bull over a bear)? Where are you going to find a semen tank and an AI tech? I might end up with a Jersey house cow, but I am actually leaning to a different breed for my farm siuation.  Obviously he has never sheared a sheep in his life if he is calling, hand sheep shears, "scissors".

He has fire extinguishers listed for each vehicle, but not for the house.

Surprised he doesn't have Amoxicillin listed under the drugs section.

I think he is low on oats. Just SP, who is 4 years old can go through 8 pounds a month.
I think he is horribly low on sugar, especially if canning.
? Baking soda from the Walmart pool section? Sounds 'food grade' to me.
A meat saw is not required, especially in a SHTF scenario. I have been butchering for 38 years for multiple species and have never felt the lack of one.

On seeds, he lists 'heirloom'. You can get open pollinated seeds which are NOT heirloom. You do not have to have 'heirloom' ones, just not F1, F2 ect hybrids. By defination 'heirloom seeds' are varieties grown over 50 years. There are some good ones which are more modern too. The reason I choose 'heirloom' varieties is for conservation purposes to preserve our agricultural heritage, not SHTF purposes.

I have issues with his 'seed list'. LIke peas. "Peas are best eaten fresh".. what about crowder peas? Soup peas? They would store best in a SHTF situation. He might prefer 'beefsteak' tomatoes, but will they grow in his situation? Zone 8-9 maybe, depending on the year, but zone 2? Try 'Siletz" or "Manitoba" instead.

So it is a 'start' of a list in my eyes. And not geared for everyone in every climate or situation.

Cedar

« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 10:37:25 AM by Cedar »

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2013, 10:42:52 AM »
Cedar is right about community.  As a single woman in rural Texas, I'd be lost without community.


I'd like to expound on one word that Endurance said: "balance."

Keep in mind that I'm not a survivalist or even a prepper, I'm a rural homesteader.  (Yes, prepping and homesteading parallel and dovetail.)  My goal is sustainable living.  Balanced.  That being said, my family (farmers) knew to always keep back a year or two of everything critical, you never know when next year is a crop failure of some kind.

Balance.  Looking at what is used in your household over a time, and what of that stores well, chart out goals to obtain.  Stay small in all areas.  Work the time period longer and longer after all areas are satisfied.  Try not to fall into the panic mode of grabbing a bunch of this or that without doing the homework first.

I like to garden, and have for 41 years.  That doesn't mean I can rely on the garden for food.  This last year I produced comparatively little,  moving to a new zone, new soil, new predators, is a new challenge.  But my freezer and (nearly 900) jars of home canned food didn't miss a beat.

Those published lists are great for ideas, but they are not gospel truth for everyone. 

Oh, and this is a great time to look at your health.  You are what you eat.  Store and eat crappy prepared foods and you will be crappy.  Plan and store healthy.  While many people do panic buy, a pallet of MRE's isn't usually a good health choice.

~TG
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 10:49:28 AM by TexasGirl »

Offline Cedar

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2013, 10:46:02 AM »
Keep in mind that I'm not a survivalist or even a prepper, I'm a rural homesteader.  My goal is sustainable living.   Balanced.  That being said, my family (farmers) knew to always keep back a year or two of everything critical, you never know when next year is a crop failure of some kind.

I like to garden, and have for 41 years.  That doesn't mean I can rely on the garden for food.  This last year I produced comparatively little,  moving to a new zone, new soil, new predators, is a new challenge.  B

You and I are so alike in many ways TG.. must be the homesteader thing. +1

Cedar

Offline gundog

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2013, 06:03:26 PM »
....as for getting to know your community, one way I have met a ton of people is on facebook. There are a couple groups from our town, one major one with over 600 members. I have met several and gotten together for play dates with the kids or stuff like that. Other ones I run into at the grocery store and recognize their picture and we stop to chat for a while. Some of them only become passing friendships but once in a while you hit on the right person. I have met fellow shooters, hunters etc...made a trip shooting with some of them.

Someone is looking for a mechanic or a roofer or carpenter.....they post there and they get several suggestions. Stuff going on at school? Town politics? How are the roads? What time is the local football game? Who is in the local volunteer fire department. The questions run from serious to stupid to mundane......but the point is you learn all about the people in your community. It is the easiest mixer I have found.

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2013, 08:28:39 PM »
I've enjoyed Rawls' books, blog and the handful of interviews that I've listened to, but have to agree that I'm a skeptic when it comes to his predictions of human behaviour in the event of any crisis, much less the over the top financial breakdown that he treats as essentially inevitable, which seems to shape his understanding of how to prepare.

While I have no doubt about the evil that may arise from any economic crisis (I could easily imagine the emergence of criminal activity of the scale of Mexico's drug cartels raising their head in Canada and the US), I cannot imagine the mayhem that Rawls envisages all over the US. At most I'd expect to see the poorer, predominantly black inner city neighbourhoods to possibly erupt into something unpleasant, but Rawls sees that mayhem spreading everywhere. It almost seems as if he's unconsciously being influenced by his neo-Calvinism, by seeing the world as split between a small number of prepared religious believers from a spectrum of traditional religious denominations, as distinguished from a larger body of unprepared, religiously indifferent Americans with a large dose of wicked criminals mixed in. It's hardly a surprise that he'd think that virtual self-sufficiency is called for, as there's hardly any critical mass left to form any semblance of order in the scenarios he envisages, at least until a bulk of the unprepared liberals or lukewarm have passed away.

I think that the reasoning above probably explains why Rawls' list is so enormous, as it's based on the assumption that there will be little to no workable community for a good while after the seeming inevitable breakdown. While I'm all for developing self sufficiency and homesteading skills wherever practical, I believe strongly in broader networking and building of community. Though I haven't tried anything yet along the lines of what Cedar has done, I can vouch for the fact that there's lots of interest in the world around me. If I factor in all of the friends who simply wish to get into hunting and shooting, those who are concerned about the long term viability of Western economies or the preservation of our civil liberties, all those looking to become self-sufficient or quasi independent of the mainstream economy, the wilderness survival types and true survivalists or those aspiring to that title, I think that at least several percent of the people I know would fit in quite nicely to any collective effort. No doubt I'd be encouraging people to stockpile certain supplies, but not to the point where everybody has tons of livestock or medical supplies. It would be something more workable for regular people than relying upon a BOL bunker being constantly watched over by one of a secret group of ten or so friends.

PS. And since gundog's post came up before I submitted this one, I'll add that Facebook or other groups like Meetup.com (which is popular for Survivalists around here) can definitely play a role in this form of community building. I realize that certain types of preparations might require some OPSEC, but don't think that one needs to be as troubled about it when living amidst a larger network of people who've each got a substantial amount of supplies, versus a Rawlsean style retreat that would be the last storehouse of food within the county.

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2013, 01:48:01 AM »
Where are you going to find a semen tank and an AI tech?

 :D I own a semen tank and am an AI Tech (of sorts), but where am I going to find the liquid nitrogen to keep my semen frozen?  That stuff doesn't last very long.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2013, 04:29:01 AM »
I agree with Canadian Prepper that Rawles' list is so long because he has a go it alone approach.  Very, very few can have "everything" imaginable that would be needed and the skill to use them. In our family life and talking with local farmers, most people cover a variety of areas but depend on trading with each others.  A friend has a surplus of hazel nuts and trades a neighbor for squash they didn't get around to planting this year. Another neighbor had a bounty of quince fruit but no time to harvest it. So a friend came by and picked all the quince, took it home and canned it, and then brought back a couple of boxes of canned jars of the quince as thanks. I don't have a metal shop but I have a chainsaw and the skills, so I can help out my neighbor with the metal shop and he is happy to fix things I break. So many variations of friends and neighbors interacting to fill gaps for each other.


Offline Oldhomestead

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2014, 10:21:22 AM »
I would have to agree with several of you that the community approach as opposed to the lone wolf scenario makes more sense. Acquiring that list, much less having the time to learn and practice every skill you would need to effectively use all that equipment would be a herculean task even if it was possible.

When I first started down this path many years ago I read all the classic back to the land books like “Five acres and independence”, but once I started to put numbers to everything the size of the homestead started growing and growing. It took a few years because I was young and dumb, but it finally dawned on me that there was no real way to do this on my own. At least not and maintain a standard of living I would be comfortable with as I and the wife got up in years.

That’s why I love the tag line of the SP show so much. Years before I heard the show, I had actually started trying to do things that would increase my quality of life now as well as come what may. And one of the biggest things I’ve done is work on building the network of people around me.

Now I’m at a point where I can specialize in a hand full of skills and products off the farm and know I can access most other things via barter and trade. Also, since the things I specialize in are things I enjoy doing there is a lot less stress about “I’ve got to learn EVERTHING and be good at it or zombies will eat the family!”


Offline scottlas

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2014, 08:39:09 AM »
Finally working my way through my audio book TEOTWAWKI and it's a breakdown of the List of List with a lot more explanation/justification for a lot of components.  Learning alot from Rawles on it but some of it you can take take it or leave it. 

Offline Rags Danneskjold

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2014, 06:17:08 PM »
I think this was a good interview. Like many, I came to being more prepared through JWR book Patriots. Although I agree with many of you regarding the need for community, the way I see a real SHTF scenerio is more like what is envisioned in Patriots. My belief is based on what occurred after Hurricane Katrina. It was absolute bedlam there, and it only took about 24 hours before society broke down to primitive survival of the fittest mentality. And that was just New Orleans. Imagine that happening nationwide with a city like where I live in Atlanta? Chaos.

It seems that in most of your cases your community is made of smaller towns. Well 90% of America lives in city and suburbs of large cities. I'd love to have a sense of community with my neighbors but I've tried to reach out, and they are all involved with their own little lives, and most of their friends are from other little "Lands of Swim and tennis". So what to do? Well in my case, my biggest survival prep is to get the hell out of where I am living and out to where I can produce more of my own food, AND get that community feel. Sorry. It's not gonna happen in the land of swim and tennis. So when I imagine a true disaster such as the true collapse of the dollar, hyperinflation etc, I see things getting very ugly, very quickly and the farther I am away from these people the better. We can hope that things will come to a soft landing, but I think the old adage of "the bigger you are the harder you fall" is pretty close to being the more likely scenario. I hope I am wrong and in that event we will live a better life anyway, but I just dont see cops that are worried about their own families going to work to "keep the peace", or electric company workers going to work for 50-60K a year when a loaf of bread costs 10 bucks, and a gallon of gas costs 50 bucks.

This is where I see this place going if the Shit really does hit the fan. One thing is for sure; this country cannot keep borrowing money to pay for things. Sooner or later the bill will come due and there will be a lot of asshats looking at each other in DC with no answers, and the spigot to all the moochers will be turned off.

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 11:31:56 PM »
I think this was a good interview. Like many, I came to being more prepared through JWR book Patriots. Although I agree with many of you regarding the need for community, the way I see a real SHTF scenerio is more like what is envisioned in Patriots. My belief is based on what occurred after Hurricane Katrina. It was absolute bedlam there, and it only took about 24 hours before society broke down to primitive survival of the fittest mentality. And that was just New Orleans. Imagine that happening nationwide with a city like where I live in Atlanta? Chaos.

It seems that in most of your cases your community is made of smaller towns. Well 90% of America lives in city and suburbs of large cities. I'd love to have a sense of community with my neighbors but I've tried to reach out, and they are all involved with their own little lives, and most of their friends are from other little "Lands of Swim and tennis". So what to do? Well in my case, my biggest survival prep is to get the hell out of where I am living and out to where I can produce more of my own food, AND get that community feel. Sorry. It's not gonna happen in the land of swim and tennis. So when I imagine a true disaster such as the true collapse of the dollar, hyperinflation etc, I see things getting very ugly, very quickly and the farther I am away from these people the better. We can hope that things will come to a soft landing, but I think the old adage of "the bigger you are the harder you fall" is pretty close to being the more likely scenario. I hope I am wrong and in that event we will live a better life anyway, but I just dont see cops that are worried about their own families going to work to "keep the peace", or electric company workers going to work for 50-60K a year when a loaf of bread costs 10 bucks, and a gallon of gas costs 50 bucks.

This is where I see this place going if the Shit really does hit the fan. One thing is for sure; this country cannot keep borrowing money to pay for things. Sooner or later the bill will come due and there will be a lot of asshats looking at each other in DC with no answers, and the spigot to all the moochers will be turned off.

Dags makes some interesting and thoughtful points, but I should point out that the example of networks I've pointed out (where perhaps 5-10% of the people that I know are interested in prepping or related activties) actually exists withing a major urban area. It would probably seem an equally lost cause if I simply tried to query interest among neighbours, but even talking to friends at the local coffee shop brings up all sorts of conversations with self employed entrepreneurs or graduate students who are definitely concerned about the viability of western economies or our fragile infrastructure. Perhaps the fact that a large percentage of urban Canadian up until recently also owned cottages partially took care of the BOL issue by default, but the possibilities for networking are there. Between people I know from Church, political associations, current and ex military, hunting and shooting clubs, locals at the coffee shop, several Meet up groups, etc., I think that I'll be more than busy enough on the networking side of prepping for some time to come. Add in the additional contacts I'll be making from the local ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) another disaster response organization and probably the Red Cross, and I could easily see my prepping evenly split between developing personal skills and supplies and the social component.

The issue of what might happen in the event of a huge economic shock is definitely harder to gauge and indeed could get very bad, but it's not as if it hasn't happened before. My late father remembers using devalued currency as tinder for the stove before WW2, and the society didn't fall apart around him because of it. Sure, it encouraged the rise of the Nazis in Germany, but even that was a gradual phenomenon compared to the almost instant collapse depicted in Rawles' books, where all of our critical infrastructure falls apart within a matter of weeks.

Don't get me wrong, either scenario provides grounds to prepare, but if we do find ourselves in a scenario where things go down but there's still basic order in the cities (with some increased crime, for sure), rural life could be harder to maintain, as the relative lack of police would require an inordinate amount of measures to prepare for even small gangs of raiders. I'm thinking back to Fernando Aquirre's (sp?) account of Argentina after their currency collapse, which may provide hints as to how it might happen here.

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2014, 07:58:14 PM »
I think you are right CP, there really are multiple scenarios.

Many people read books such as "Patriots" and somehow see it as gospel truth, "that's the way it's gonna happen."  Then they base their prepping on the single scenario as well. 

How many times have you heard someone say... "when TSHTF I'm gonna _____? 

What will they do if there's no real defining moment of crisis?  What if that "cliff" looks like a playground slide, just a slip lower and lower?  How does this affect a person's preparedness, will the lists change if there's no big event to suddenly run to the BOL for?  Maybe some of that BOL stuff should have been duplicated at the house in town?

Does that change "the list"?

~TG

Offline Oldhomestead

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Re: James Wesley Rawles' List of Lists (from episode 1242)
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2014, 09:56:43 AM »
You bring up a good point about the vast majority of people living in the cities and having their own focus. It took us 6 years to find our first place outside of town with one of the main drivers being cost.

But as the prepper movement picks up steam there are more and more people looking to build up a network. You probably won’t be able to convince your neighborhood to join you but with meetup groups every major city has groups of likeminded folks you could get to know, even if you have to travel a bit.

We have a once a month barter meetup and we drive an hour+ to get there since it is on the other side of San Antonio. Others drive even further from the opposite direction, but with technology we wind up talking with each other several times a week. And a lot of those conversations are along the lines of “Hey, I’ve got this and I’m looking for that and can someone help me find this other thing.”

All of that helps feed into a community-wide list-of-lists.