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Long-Term SHTF

Not many people plan for long term SHTF scenarios. Really long-term. I can understand why. It can be daunting because most people think you can’t unless you’re on 100 acres of fertile land with natural water sources, along with a bunker that also has 20 years of food stored in it. But actually, you can if you think critically about it. All the gear and equipment you already have for the SHTF situations you already prepare for are also usable in the long-term situations, so you have that covered. But what things would you need, or would be a real help, if society shutdown long term? Things easy to collect now, store for a long time, and even use if there is never a long-term SHTF. Things that are realistic.

I’ll use my family as an example. We are in a typical suburban home, not on land with water and a bunker. Yet, I still have a plan for really long-term SHTF. Actually a few plans. One for if we stay. And a couple for if we relocate. While some of the actions items in the plans differ, the “stuff” in them is consistent. In developing those plans, I put much thought into the things we may not have access to, but that could be either crucial or very beneficial to surviving and thriving long term. Not the stuff I already have for most SHTF situations. But rather for a real long-term situation. What would I really want to have on hand, if god-forbid, the worst happened? First up, Food. Not stored food, but rather food we’d grow. Which means seeds. Seeds for the varieties of vegetables we not only would eat, but that will also be viable and germinate when the seeds are saved for the next growing season. Whether or not you store fertilizers and bags of soil, you ain’t gonna grow nuthin without seeds. And for tens of thousands of years people have grown food without fertilizers and potting soil. Just seeds put in the soil, nurtured, harvested, and the seeds of the best plants saved. Seeds are cheap, can be stored for a decade or more, and take up very little space. And if I don’t have any, I ain’t got nuthin to grow. I have more than I can use in a couple seasons just in case a crop fails.

In the same vein, what would I want while growing those foods, and could also be used for other purposes? Wagons or garden carts. I don’t want to carry heavy shit around during SHFT. Without a wagon/cart of some kind, I’m gonna be working a lot harder during TEOTWAWKI. Good thing I have a couple already, even though I don’t use them often right now.

Next, after growing and harvesting the food, I’ll have to cook it. Cooking utensils basically last forever, and I already have those. But cooking oils/greases sure don’t last forever. Unless I harvest enough animals that provide good fat for cooking, I’m gonna have a little tougher time cooking the stuff I harvest without some oil or grease to cook with.

So, I’ve done two really cheap things. First, In the bottom of my freezer, I have a few bottles of peanut oil. Second, I clarify my bacon grease, put it ziplock bags, and freeze it flat so it takes up very little space in the freezer. Frozen, the oil will last decades. But, while the bacon grease probable would too, I rotate it out every few years.

Then with cooking, there is a danger. Fire. If it’s any kind of SHTF situation, you’re on your own. After a just a natural disaster, it can be hours until emergency services arrive. In a worse situation, it could be days, or even never arrive. And in the later situation, your insurance company won’t be there for you either. Total loss forever. While many people have a fire extinguisher in their kitchen, they usually don’t have them in other rooms of the house. Nor do the have more than those. Unlike seeds or cooking oil, fire extinguishers ain’t exactly cheap, but at least they ain’t expensive either. In my kitchen there is a large ABC fire extinguisher, a small ABC extinguisher, as well as a “fire blanket”. Every bedroom and bathroom have a fire blanket hanging on or near the door as well. The bedrooms also have a small ABC fire extinguisher just inside their door ways. Then there’s the garage, it has two large ABC fire extinguishers, four “spare” small ABC fire extinguishers, and two fire blankets. While not cheap, they were easy to collect over time. When I’d see fire extinguishers on sale, I’d buy a couple. Since 2005, only one has “leaked” with the gauge showing no pressure. During a SHTF situation, I don’t want to lose everything just because I couldn’t put out a fire caused by a candle falling over unnoticed, or a spark from the fireplace somehow getting past the screen, or more likely, a cooking fire.

Ok, now that I’ve done all the work to plant, nurture, harvest, and cook some of that food I grew, I bet I’ve been hard on my clothing. Ain’t no way I can do all that work without them getting dirty. Not to mention myself. All you need is soap, water, and a bucket or sink. But the one that I can’t simply gather is the soap. So, I simply have a whole bunch of bars of soap sealed in bags. Most is cheap dollar store stuff, but also some Dial for its’ anti-bacterial properties, and Irish spring for its’ perfume. While I also have powered laundry soap stashed away, the bar soap can also be used for laundry. Those bars of soap are cheap, easy to store, and with enough put away, they can also be used for barter. Bonus; I also have a shampoo and conditioner in the same tote as the soap just for barter. Because I know there will be a husband willing to barter something really valuable to me just to get his wife the shampoo & conditioner she desperately needs to improve her morale, and therefore giving him relief as well. You know, happy wife, happy life. And when it’s from the Dollar Store, it’s cheap.

Along with my clothes getting dirty, I also expect they will receive some damage. Since during a long-term SHTF there likely won’t be any stores to go get replacements, I need a away to repair them. So, I’ve got sewing supplies. Again, it’s something cheap that’s also easy to store. I really don’t want to have to barter a meal’s worth of food for 5 cents worth needle and thread to repair a tear in my shirt. Not when it’s so cheap to not only cover my needs, but also to possibly barter some. Ok, so grew some food, cooked it, washed up, repaired my shirt, and now it’s time for bed. But I always brush my teeth before going to bed. I sure as hell don’t want to neglect my teeth and end up needing emergency dental work that I can’t get.

Once again, cheap and easy to store. I have stored away several tins of powdered toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, floss picks, and several boxes of salt and baking powder. All of it from the dollar store, so it was really cheap to do. If it’s a really bad situation, I can at least brush my teeth without toothpaste. Again, I’d loathe to be in the situation of bartering a meal just to get a damned 10 cent tooth brush. Oh, and that husband that bartered for the shampoo & conditioner? What do wanna bet he’ll also barter for a couple toothbrushes and a little toothpaste for his wife and himself? Yeah, I didn’t think you’d take that bet.

While these next couple items no longer apply to me or my family any more, I’m quite certain they do to many of you.

Do you really want to see your wife or daughter deal with her period without tampons or pads? Do you? In the past, I made sure to learn which ones my wife preferred. I’m secure enough in my manhood that when she needed them, I was not embarrassed to go get them. Never understood dudes that balked at going to get them for their wives or girlfriends. Anyway, I quickly learned not only which ones she preferred, but also about how many she used each time. So eventually, I had just better than a years’ worth on hand at all times. Real simple to do, each time she used a box, I replaced it with two. She never knew that I also had a few reusable menstrual cups, and a package of cloth diapers we could cut and sew into reusable pads. I really didn’t want to see my wife suffer if long-term bad stuff happened.

Then there’s condoms. Do you really want her to get pregnant during a long-term SHTF? If either you or your wife ain’t “fixed”, you’re gonna want condoms on hand. Because without internet, TV, going out, or other entertainment, you know y’all are gonna end up going at like a couple of damn bunnies, so have a bunch on hand. Those are the things I have stored for long-term situations, except the last two now. All my preps for other situations still apply. These are just the things that I think will be either crucial or very beneficial in a really long-term situation. These are not the only things I have for really tong-term, just those I see as crucial. for example, I have enough honey socked away so I can make about 20 gallons of mead in one gallon batches. Not crucial, just something I want. And I don't have to wait for a collapse to use it if I so choose. I won’t need the vegetable seeds in the aftermath of a hurricane, but I sure as well will when the economy and society collapses. While I may need a fire extinguisher tomorrow, and I can replace it the same day, sure as hell won’t be able to replace it in the afore mentioned collapse.

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