Episode-893- Why Being a Lone Wolf Won’t Work for 99% or More of Disasters

Even Wolves Survive in Packs

Even Wolves Survive in Packs

Many preppers seem to think telling anyone, anything about your views on preparedness is a huge mistake.  They point out it might make you a target of everyone who isn’t prepared when doomsday comes.

Others seem to embody the very reasons others are so tight lipped about their preps.  These are the self absorbed jackasses that state nonsense like, “My AR15 and 2,000 round are all the survival kit I will ever need”.  Such people live in a world of Hollywood B movies and fan fiction novels.  In the real world such tactics are seldom effective for a variety of reasons.

This is why I have always taught that while there is a place for basic and common sense opsec it is still highly important to build community for both day to day living and for the eventual reality of a possible or even probable disaster.

Recently I got an email that caused me to do this show, it read as follows…

“Jack I grew way too many potatoes this year and have over 100 pounds more than I can use.  I thought about selling them at the farmer’s market but that might make me a magnet when TSHTF, I thought about the neighbors but that may even be worse in attracting people if there is a disaster and I thought about donating them to a church but again that might make me a magnet if the SHTF, what should I do with all these extra potatoes.

Here is what my wife did when I read this to her

  1. Rolled her eyes
  2. Sighed and laughed
  3. Asked “is he serious?”
  4. Stated, “well if he is that paranoid just donate them anonymously”
  5. Asked, “has he been listening to you at all?”

While her response was great there were two bigger points here,

  1. Unencumbered by paranoia she found a solution in about 30 seconds, donate anomalously
  2. She saw at once the folly in the paranoia

I get a lot of emails that tell me many of the people in the audience are not yet sold on the true community aspects of prepping, so today I present to you 10 reasons why the lone wolf approach will not work in 99% or more disasters.

Join Me Today As I Discuss…

  • What are humans at their core
  • Why is communication considered critical by even the lone wolf
  • 10 reasons you can’t go it alone or in a “tactical squad” successfully
    • 1.  Most disasters will not result in total break down
    • 2.  Most people can’t afford the resources for long term self reliance
    • 3.  You can only prey on others while they have something to take
    • 4.  Rebuilding will take precedence over tearing down
    • 5.  The weakest are strong in an organized group
    • 6.  In all but the most extreme examples LEOs will still be on the job
    • 7.  You don’t have close air support and massive logistics support
    • 8.  What ever you store will run out eventually
    • 9.  You are one serious injury or illness away from being essentially useless
    • 10. You will need, want and desire recovery as much as anyone else
  • What is Proper Prepper OpSec?
    • Discuss basic preparedness not how much you have
    • Create relationships not dependence
    • Encourage action, any positive action, not here is all the stuff I do
    • Stick to the more basic disasters people can relate to
    • When you are pushing a string, stop
    • See your priority as, family, neighborhood, city/town
    • Realize in the worst case scenario, existing makes you a target

Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

38 Responses to Episode-893- Why Being a Lone Wolf Won’t Work for 99% or More of Disasters

  1. Dave Levin, Sr. ("headush" On the forum)

    This is tough to fathom.
    This man has the ability to make friends with his surplus potatoes.
    The minimum he can do is donate to a food bank or shelter, the best he could do is give them to his neighbors and show them how to grow more potatoes assuming he is growing non GMO, non hybrid potatoes.
    Take care and thanks for the post,

  2. Gary Minter

    He grew 100 lbs more than he could use. Does he really think his garden is a secret? Best to be friendly with your community, share what (knowledge, surplus), when you can. It always comes back many fold.

  3. For Potato Guy: freeze, can, dehydrate any extras, especially if you can’t sell, or give them away. Abundance and over-cropping today is also food for tomorrow. I know that any level of fear or panic can be confusing, but as for being a target, we’ll all die one day, that’s for sure, so let’s do our best today. Sit down, breathe while you peel potatoes , and get some of those buggers cooking while you decide what to do with them. Hey, why not put some back in the ground for a new crop? Even the peelings in the compost pile will grow you more. If you could identify your general area, maybe some other TSP listeners can help you eat or store them.

  4. Modern Survival

    @hillhag and if you dehydrate them make sure you blanch em first, dehydrat2store on youtube is a great resource on stuff like that.

  5. Roundabouts

    Yes rolled eyes same response as your wife just as quick Same solution too. Then it’s crap those people that are so afraid / paranoid there are too many of those type of people and they scare the heck out of me. If in good abundance times they can’t reach out and share / help what are they going to be like in a true SHTF situation. Sit alone in isolation planning on how they are going to take from others what they need. If they don’t know how to reach out now well,….. * sigh & shakes head with and eye roll*

  6. Yep, eyes automatically rolled – and thought ‘oh brother’. We overgrow on purpose so we have something to trade with the neighbors and plenty to share with work friends. I know for a fact that sharing from our garden has led to a number of folks starting their own gardens… and some of those people suffer from normalcy bias and will never believe we have problems heading our way. I consider gardening a back door to teaching people how to be self-sufficient, so sharing over-abundance does more than feed people, it teaches and encourages people to do the same things I do.

  7. I’m one of those who thinks we need to be very careful about spilling our guts about our longterm stuff… BUT I give tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers. etc away all summer long – also give canned goods away to the food banks, churches, etc as they near expiration etc.

    However, if a 1% event does throw us into the Madmax scenario then there are absolutely people who will kill you for your stuff. 12,996 people were murdered in USA in 2010. If people are starving I will bet you anythibg that will climb quickly.

  8. rancher1school

    I realized I was a bit off my rocker when I set you that last email.

    you said IUE, not IED I could not help it but give a short LOL. but maybe you stuck that in there for a reason. skip to 38:20 for a quick listen.

    • I got that one too LOL, “pissed off peasants with IUDs”, that’s going to make me laugh all day 🙂

      Seriously, I don’t know how you can do this show day and day out without throwing malapropisms all the time–I know I sure would.

  9. naturemom2boys

    Mark me down as having the same response as your wife. I am told I’m an expert eye-roller by my parents, and apparently I haven’t out grown it according to my husband. I love this show, it is so timely because I’ve just had this discussion with some family and they think we are crazy because we’ve started meeting with just 4 or 5 others that are like minded to discuss preps and what to do in certain situations. I’m emailing this show link. Hope it sinks in to said family since it’s coming from an outside source and not the family weirdo.

  10. Thanks, Jack, great resource.

  11. Yep, same response here too. I just have to believe he was joking or gunning for a reaction like this. If he was really that paranoid, I can’t believe he would even reach out to you with the idea that his email might get on your show.

  12. Listened to rest of show and I’m in 100% agreement. (fwiw)

    Being a good neighbor is so much fun anyways… why wouldn’t we want to be that person.

  13. Sage of Monticelo

    I don’t think the potato guy was paranoid at all. He’s being pragmatic and not wanting to bring attention to himself while having the good intentions of charity by expressing a desire to donate his extra food which should be met with admiration rather than rolling of eyes. He obviously was seeking advice and doesn’t appear to be a lone wolf from the information listeners have.

    I believe the majority of TSP are fantastic and on board with the community mode, not lone wolf mode. Lone wolf is a label used by the Department of Homeland Security to stereotype preppers with hate group survivalists. With recent Doomsday Preppers and horrific survival shows on cable, they have successfully framed in public opinion that all preppers as crazies and mentally possibly violent people. For example, some nut job in Washington state just offed himself in a bunker after taking out his family. The Seattle Times was quick to label this guy as a survivalist prepper lone wolf.

    So in this current climate, I absolutely believe in OPSEC and being pragmatic on who you open up your mouth to regarding your preps, food storage, and ammo, should consider extra thought.

    We have government programs in place in churches, with business partners working with Homeland Security that operate as a TIPS program like INFRAGUARD. So absolutely OPSEC is vital in my opinion It doesn’t mean we are paranoid, but that we are simply thinking about who we share our private information with.

    However, I’m not sure OPSEC is something we should dismiss in order to be a good neighbor and work as a community in the event of a SHTF.

    I am a great neighbor by the way, and share my extra eggs, and always help out in shoveling snow, giving a ride, or simply have a friendly conversation. Overall, just wanted to add a different wrinkle to the group think tank here.

    Great show even if I disagree with some aspects and that’s essentially how life operates.

  14. Come on Jack. It is so damn easy to be a little paranoid in this day and age. Anyone who wants to “see people out to get them” need only look at all of the arrests of citizens who insist on photographing a government officer doing their job. It takes real effort to NOT let that paranoia leek in to other areas of life. I’ll grant you, it seems this guy’s worries are misplaced on a potential future and not on an existing reality. But who here hasn’t had their own moment like that. I promise you, I were to take a close look at why I bought one or two of my preps… it would be one of those moments when you’d say, “OK Mad Max, let me talk you down from that place.” So I’m willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He just needed to be talked down from his weird head space. I hope he didn’t take this podcast the wrong way.

    • Modern Survival

      @Patrick if you look above at the comment by @rancher1school you will see your fears are not warranted and also that he knows in his words he was, “off his rocker”.

      Paranoia is irrational fear, some of what you are pointing out is not irrational fear like “arrests of citizens who insist on photographing a government officer”, fear that giving a neighbor a few potatoes is going to make you a target is absolutely irrational, please note the common sense opsec components at the end of today’s show.

  15. I have talked to these people who think they can go out into the woods and make it alone, I consider myself a pretty good woodsman, but what people don’t get that after a few days everyone with a gun will be in the woods looking for food, there are few places left in the USA where there are massive forest lands where the resources will last any length of time, that’s why Indians were nomads, they stayed until the animals started thinning out and moved on, it’s not going to be long until you have to move into someone else’s patch of woods and you will not be welcome.
    If you have a small patch of woods in your area there might 100 people or more hunting those woods and all game will be gone in a matter of days, if not over night.
    EastTennesseePrepper on Youtube did a series of vids where he decided to try it, it’s called day to day living, it opened his eyes beyond belief and he lives in the Mountains with huge forest lands, his family would have starved.
    It’s great to have belief in yourself but over confidence will get you killed, prepping and training is the way to go, along with forming communities and planning ahead.

  16. another great episode

  17. @Jack
    1) My point in bring up “arrests of citizens who insist on photographing a government officer” was to show we have real things to fear, but that fear may still be in this guy’s head when he moves on to other areas of his life. The fear is then “leaking” to a topic of less concern. The leaking can and will be viewed by others as paranoia.
    2) He may not be a real “Lone Wolf.” Why would a Lone Wolf contact anyone for advice? They think they can handle anything by themselves. Now some “Joe” with real fear that has leaked or morphed into a dumb paranoia is very likely to reach out to someone for advice. The someone they are most likely to reach out to is a person they view as a teacher. You, Jack, are a teacher many people would reach out to.
    3) You, Jack, broadly speaking, do two things for us as a community. You teach good survival skills and you preach the message of sensible survival. Think about how many times you have talked about community in the last three years
    4) In your capacity as a preacher of this sensible survival message you may have talk one of your congregation down off a ledge or out of a hole of paranoia. Today’s podcast, for good or ill, was such a sermon.
    I think a real lone wolf would at most, troll this site for information. I’ll bet that 99% of the people who bother contacting you at all is crying out for community. They don’t want to be a lone wolf. They are just unable to communicate that desire for community without that stupid paranoia tainting the question.
    Preach on Brother Jack. You’ve had my attention for almost a year now and I’m a out there singing your message to anyone I can get to listen.

    • Modern Survival

      @Patrick and sometimes a stray member of the flock needs a calming, soothing tone and an ego stroking “it’s gonna be okay” and sometimes they need a swift kick in the ass. LOL. In any event the preacher is left to decide which is needed.

  18. @ patrick. agree with #3 #4, and will add: Others may be paranoid, but that doesn’t mean someone’s not out to get them. lol And I don’t want my storage stuff sitting by the front door, either.

  19. Nadja*isk*en*isk*ie

    It seams to me that the best way to not be a target is have no assets, be dead – and cremated (that way no one will try and grave dig the corpse of course).

  20. Jack, really enjoyed the show but I have to disagree on which is the toughest animal to walk on terrestrial Earth right now.
    Honeybadger don’t give a $#!+ LOL Your example of a male Lion was a good analogy though.

  21. Gaz Cruz III

    Those who have been to really desolate locations and operated in these situations know that the indigenous populations survive by always operating as tribes, clans and extended families and have been doing so successfully for millennia. Modern day preppers should learn from this and it would make surviving in hostile conditions much easier.

  22. The only problem is that so many people will hear/read this article/podcast and not prepare or plan for the 1% disaster that IS going to hit us where there is a TOTAL societal breakdown. Any history student knows that all societies at some point have experienced the 1% disaster with societal break down before the rebuilding happened. There was a substantial period where it was not safe to found in high population areas. While I agree that we should not live life in unsubstantiated paranoia and build up our communities to incorporate prudent preparedness minded living, we should also realize that it is highly likely we will see the 1% disaster and should also plan for a worst case scenario.

  23. SheepdogSurvival

    Jack, I loved this episode. I’m one of those “early 30’s military types” thanks for lighting the way of rational thought. TSP has really helped me start to transition from a being a knee jerk paranoid and militant prepper (too much James Wesley Rawles) to a some one who really values community.

  24. Wait… Jack…… so you’re saying that I shouldn’t be planning on your house for my bug out location?

  25. I rolled my eyes.

  26. Brent Eamer

    As I listened to this podcast, I made a salad from my garden, cooked local bacon on the woodstove (ya PEI Jack, still cold here). Cut up some home made croutons fried in bacon fat. And made Keith Snow’s Lemon Vinaigrette , his book it fantastic.

  27. Really, really good episode. People need to think more about community and how we could help those in our immediate area to not just survive, but prevail during any probable disaster. I personally am doing more and more gardening and talking with my neighbors more about it. My boys and I have even gone as far as to rake leaves out of our neighbors yards in the fall for our garden/compost piles. We are also stocking seeds as well as garden tools and starting a community garden at a local church. As Jack has stated in the past, it’s amazing how food, or the breaking of bread, builds relationships.

    In an earlier post, one person mentioned the negative conotation of Lone Wolf being something that the DHS created. Actually, that term was coined long before DHS was ever thought of. Old-time trappers were frequently referred to as lone wolves and Chuck Norris made a movie in the 80’s with that term in the title.

    Old-time trappers are a perfect example of people who chose to “go it alone” part of the time but still came back to civilization to sell their wares and resupply. Many of them actually worked and traveled in groups. These hardy men still needed community due to our innate need to socialize.

    There is a lot of fear and paranoia being spread not only by the media and certain tv shows, but also by supposed leaders of the prepper/survival community. I really liked this show and I am glad that Jack is not someone who plays off of fears but actually helps equip people to do some basic things to overcome fear.

  28. I wonder how many people, like this guy being discussed, get that atleast some of them are coming for you anyway. That is that in the event of a loss of easy food, people will swarm over any area that looks like it * might* be useable to grow food, and they will take what they can. They will come in numbers, small at first, and large later. A ‘single horse’ operation cannot hope to stand off those.

    Whether a family or a country, you depend on those you share a border with. This is why nations pldge aid in times of natural disastor, and why you should be concidering your neighbourhood as your bastion

    * shrug*

    ( still listening btw)

  29. It was nice that this show came on right after ours. i though it was interesting how anyone could have this idea. Anyone that thinks they are going to just steal and pillage their way through a worst case scenario has to 1) look at their own moral character and 2) recognize there is always some more ‘badass’ then they are, and as the old adage goes, its not the bullet with your name on it that you need to worry about but the one with “to whom it may concern”.

    In my experience, a modern military can be hurt by uneducated an untrained personnel. That however was after a long learning process by the insurgency there. THe cream rose to the top after all the dumb ones were killed or trained better. Americans however are mostly educated and can learn quickly the complicated process of military ambushes and defense as well as modern weapons usage. With a determined group of Americans even a small one, in defense of their home even against a large force of “gangs” of looters. I would put my money on the homeowners. It doesnt take much and most of the time these thugs are like a wolf (no pun intended). They will come after you if they think its an easy kill, once the first few folks have their heads turned into a pink mess of sludge they are going to think twice and run off. They may come back later, but you will have that time to prepare as well.

    You’re right as well Jack, those who think the world will turn into a anarchic state and can just do whatever you want. sure for a period, but eventually things will coalesce into something resembling society and when that happens all those you killed have friends and families, people dont forget and you will be held accountable.

    My advice for everyone in the TSP and preppers in general, this mentality makes it even more important that you train and prepare. When these idiots come and think they can just waltz in and take your stuff, show them the folly of their thinking, and send that refuse six feet under.

  30. I would have given them to the neighbors because soon or later you will need something from them.

  31. Donate anomalously? That I’d like to see.

  32. I think that we all suffer from paranoia on some level, it is what has kept us and our families safe since we ventured out of the safety of the caves. With that being said, I hate to break it to the guy but those “lone wolf types” out there have already made a list of their targets when it goes down and all we can do is be cautious. As the saying goes, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” When the time comes the “lone wolves” will more than likely be others that we are close to and never suspected of their plan.

  33. This is not about, potatoes or bulletts or wolves. If you adjust your lifstyle in advance and learn how to live without…sewer mains,,,city water,,and megawatt electricity, the impact of ZOMBIE life will not be as great. Think about the very basics day to day..what if you cn no longer flush your toliet? OR turn on the Tap for water? No more cable or Satellite tv. These are things you can acclimate for right now….Septic tanks,,,,Solar power water wells,,are super…ranchers have used them for YEARS to water cattle troughs on ranges. Electric? Well a small back up generator is OK,,,but soon you will run out of gas. Again solar or the newer small windmills for homes are super and will run a fridge,,,or some minimal level of service,,,,true no more a/c,, but you will survive. Can you bathe with cold water? Of course you can. With a soalr powered well you have clean fresh water, and can irrigate gardens. Can you live without MEAT short term? Of course,,, and raise chickens! Another rarely discussed food option….Ever see those LARGE backyard koi ponds? The LARGE ones (not home depot plastic bowls),,,instead of pretty goldfish..you throw in some native caught fish,,and in one season you will have thousands in there as the predators are excluded,,,I tried it,,,,and you actually have to take some out for overcrowding….truly! You now have fresh water, septic, vegatables, and chicken/fish for protein. These are easy steps to do in advance…..

  34. As for sharing, We had a major weather event and power was down for 3-4 days. I have a backup Natural gas Generator that will power 50% of the house, hot water kitchen and the like. It was not a problem to let others come by and use a shower every day or so, many voluntered to come by and cook large meals out of their pantry stock in return. I was able to let them charge their cell phones, and people actually came by and spoke to each other as they watched the news in our great room, as I had the only functioning TV/Satellite for a mile around. Yes, sometimes it was a a chore, but having a fridge to help a new mother, and I had a large cube freezer in the garge,, so we could help some folks save stuff. I was able to minimally share my WIFI connection (satellite), so a few people could check stuff. Minimal prep, helped out bunches of people.