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Here’s the scenario – you are in the aftermath of an Electromagnetic Pulse of some kind. The stores are closed, no services are available and you are in a rural setting. How do you see yourself, stockpiled with all the supplies you might need or just enough supplies to get you by for a little while and relying on your skills to fill in the gaps?

Let’s say you chose to go the route of having a stockpile of food and every little survival trinket you see on your favorite survivalist site. Your plan is to bug in and use your rural home as a fortress. You have a your AR15 variant and you’re ready to take out any looter who dares come to take your hard earned preps.

Being that you’re there by yourself, when are you going to sleep? Who will protect your goods and life while you take a cat nap? You may need to find a willing partner to help with the security detail and the everyday chores. If they have an equally sized stash of goods, who will move all of their stuff to the other person’s place? If they don’t have supplies stored, your supply of stuff just got cut in half.

This is less than ideal as you can imaging. Let’s take a look at the other side of the spectrum, relying solely on skills and knowledge.

You have been hunting and fishing since you were a kid. You know all of the places to get a big deer, you can process it on your own and smoke the meat for longer storage time. The same goes for fish and living off of the land. You plan to bug out and get as far away from all of the chaos as you can. You are packed and can travel light and take most of your needs with you in a single pack.

When you travel, you start to notice a lot of the vegetation is trampled and the animals are skittish from the added number of people trying to get dinner for themselves and family. As time passes, it will become increasingly difficult to find food while on the go, not to mention remotely clean water will be harder to come across. Gross water also means the fish and other aquatic life will be tainted as well.

This method is less than ideal too. Ideally you will want to have a solid combination of the two. While you can’t be certain you’ll be able to have your preference of bugging in or bugging out, you will have the means to do whichever is more ideal when the situation arises. Might you have the initial time to hunt, process and smoke the meat before you need to bug out? Perhaps.

Will you have a great stash at home but need to bail leaving a lot of it there? Maybe, but having an extensive array of stored food and other goods means you can take some items with you to barter with. Smoked meat for some ammo or a prepackaged meal for a roll of toilet paper are good trades. If you pack too light and rely on your skills to survive, you might not pack barter items. If you stay at home and protect your goods with a vengeance, you might not have anyone come by to barter with.

The main idea here is to be more fluid in your preparation. You can never be sure what will happen and when. Being as prepared as possible for any situation is the ideal route to go. Have food stored and water purification options ready for both on the go or staying put. Have the skills to supplement what you have stored with hunting, fishing and trapping but don’t forget relying on these skills alone might make for some hungry nights and low energy distance walks to check your traps.

What skills and items do you see as being most important in a disaster situation?

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