Episode-932- Selco from SHTF School on Survival During the Balkan Wars — 37 Comments

  1. I KNEW it was Selco when you were describing him yesterday! Cool! Can’t wait to listen to this one.

  2. I have spent time in the Balkens. It is a.beautiful part of the world.

  3. Just a suggestion; Maybe for the interviews like this it would be easier for quality to have him record answers to questions and send it to you in digital format.

    Great interview, reminded me a of a good friend years ago from Bulgaria. I need to look him up.

  4. Really liked Selco website SHTF school some good reading. Don’t think this can’t happen here it can and has but on small scale just think if on a national or world level disaster and no one is comming to help.

  5. Hey, if you subscribe to his newsletter, the course is only $19 – thats $10 off. I found out after paying full price- & he refunded me the $10! So signup & if you want to buy the course, use link in the signup confirmation email for discount. So far the course is very interesting. He goes into detail about his experience, and don’t worry- he is much easier to understand than he was in the TSP podcast.

  6. Haven’t listened to the show yet, But I was a British Soldier Serving as part of the NATO “Peace Keeping” Force.

    We watched those people struggle, we weren’t allowed to help, it was horrific

    There is a great DVD about it call Warriors its by the BBC, its an eye opener.

    OK Enough waffling from me, I’m off to listen to the show

  7. Ohh man, I was soo looking forward to this interview when I saw it posted.
    I can’t believe I never thought to suggest it. Selco’s experience is so relevant for some of the worst case scenarios that we sometimes think about.

    Unfortunately, I just couldn’t understand most of the interview. I hope others had less trouble than I did. To have such a great opportunity spoiled by a bad connection is just a cryin’ shame.

    Many thanks to Jack and to Selco for their effort here. I hope some day they can do it again, with a better connection, and cover any subjects they wish they had addressed today.

    An interview of Jack by Selco might bring up some interesting thoughts also.

  8. I contacted Selco with the idea of getting an interview with Jack. I’m happy for both of them that they were able to get together. I don’t mind wading through some sketchy audio. Selco’s website is pretty good and it’s worth the price to get access to the full website. No rip-offs involved. I hope Selco gets a nice bump in traffic on his site! I love seeing people turn adversity into value in their life.

  9. Jack I had a very hardtime understanding most of this Interview. Could maybe you publish some bu

    points of his answers to your questions?
    At one point you asked him about what to do with dead bodies. He said something about personal hygiene??

  10. I agree with the previous poster regarding prerecorded answers from your guest. Only getting about 50 percent of his responses using earbuds. Interesting guest though!

  11. Jack, interviews like these and the ones with Fernando are the most important interviews you do. Real expirence can’t be beat. They are very informative and interesting. If at all possible could you track down someone from Greece for an interview? I and I’m sure the whole community would like to glean first hand info about what is really going on there, as it is very likely our future. Thank you for all that you do. -Ryan

  12. I listened to the show (like I normally do) on my commute but my speakers aren’t the greatest so will be listening to it at home later on so I don’t miss stuff.


  13. I live in a city with a lot of immigrants/refugees from Bosnia. In high school I knew a Bosnian kid that was my age and already a wounded combat veteran (large gash in his neck from shrapnel). Crazy.

    I might have to try listening to the show again when I can pay closer attention. I’m sure he had a lot of interesting things to say, it was just so hard to make everything out (first world problems, right?).

  14. I thought it a very good interview. It reminded me of my experience of fear in South Korea, when we had daily threats from the North. We built a bomb shelter under the front porch when we built a new house, and I knew I was ready to defend my children in that space. In a life or death situation, I promise you, THINGS (preps) don’t matter, because you’re busy choosing life. And you can’t carry much, especially if there are children. Another thing, …you can plan all you want, but when the time comes, you don’t know what you’ll do. You have to make split second decisions so you have to stay calm in the confusion. Anyone who has the courage will profit by turning off the elec. and water for at least 24 hours and just see what you’d do then. Sorry that anyone would have the experiences of Selco for us to benefit from, but also thankful that he would share his nightmare. I’ve been homeless and my concern wasn’t so much for food and water, but safety. While riding a bus, I would look for what looked like a safe place to sleep. I collected alum. cans to sell, and saw I was becoming crazy by standing near a group of people drinking from cans so that I could get them when they finished. Another promise, you will be looking for any opportunity for survival. In Korea I was fearful of one of the children crying if we were in hiding, so I taught them to play a game of “who can be the quietest the longest”, and it also came in handy when they were noisy in the car. For years now I’ve watched every documentary and movie on the holocaust, and pioneers. Amazing how many problems you learn to prepare for and what to do or not. I’ll listen to Selco again and see if I missed anything the first time. Probably the people who had a hard time hearing are not used to being around speakers of other languages much. His website is very good.

  15. p.s. I was impressed by one line from the movie, “Apocalyse Now”, when Marlan Brando said, ” You have to make a friend of horror or it will destroy you.” Are we psychologically preparing?

  16. I have a hearing problem, admittedly, but I had a very difficult time with aural intelligibility with this podcast, and finally gave up after about 20 minutes.

    I know there are volunteer transcribers on the forum. Looking forward to their work on this episode.

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  18. WOW! what an incredible show. You knocked it out of th epark with this one. A very rare look at a survivor of a true breakdown. Invaluable information.

    Thanks again, amigo.

  19. Well, this was just weird. Earlier this evening I listened to Jack’s interview with Selco. Later, I returned to a project I have been working on – transferring early VHS tapes of my kids to digital. The VHS tape I was transferring just happened to have some footage that was recorded from CNN in 1992. Lo and behold, it was a report from Sarajevo depicting just what Selco was talking about, i.e., how the people were just trying to survive during that horrible period. I put the footage up on Youtube (link:

    • great vid. So coincidental and cool that you found this the same day. Startling example of just how fast everyday life can be ripped in two.

  20. Hi all, I’ve got the first 40 minutes done transcribing. I’ll email it to Jack when it’s finished and/or post it on the forum.

    • Thank you for the work that you did putting together the transcript. I just gave the interview another listen and read the transcript along with it. It was definitively worth the time.

  21. thought it was going to be Orlov.

    I have alot of friends from Croatia and Serbia. fucked up time. … thanks for the podcast.

    if anyone is interested in sports and this topic check out the ESPN 30for30 on Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic. think its called Once Brothers.

  22. The key answer to survival in SHTF scenarios is the same over and over, and yet it’s the hardest one to achieve because it is exactly what is breaking down in the scenario: community.

    Even if you have modest means, buying guns, ammo, food, and other supplies ain’t so difficult, but building a social fabric takes considerable time and effort. Sadly perhaps, our evolutionary psychology is double edged, it keeps us safe from strangers . . . it makes it hard to connect with strangers. I agree with a general thrust of TSP that ultimately it is community that is probably *the* thing that needs to be focused on the most along with mindset after some very basics are cleared for genuine durable survivability it disaster situations. It also may help tremendously to avoid them in the first place.

  23. Hi again. I posted the transcript here:

    I’ve also sent it to Jack in case he wants to add a pdf or something to the shownotes.

    Hope it helps those of you who were having problems understanding it. I just thought I’d do my part to help the community since I’ve gotten so much from listening to these podcasts.

    • I will be announcing them as formally available with some other stuff on Monday, but for now you can get them from the source. Thanks big time to @A Nonny Mouse

  24. Selco has been an incredible source of information for me and so is Jack I am thrilled that this interview is happening I’m going to listen now!

  25. awesome! And the shtfschool has so much audio that I can’t stop listening! hours & hours! well worth it! Thanks Jack for bringing him to my & our attention!

  26. Liked this so much I bought the SHTF School course. If you sign up for the newsletter first they have a $10 off coupon. Worth the money. #ThumbsUp

  27. Jack,
    Outstanding shows today and yesterday…
    LMAO yesterday, and cryed today.
    I am INSISTING that my sleeping friends and family listen tho these two!

    On cutting police jobs/guns…

    Exactly right…’Cutting the number of Cops means you have to RATION enforcement’ …
    – that is where the term “Death panels” comes from, Someone has to make a choice on who lives, and who dies. (Similar to the obama health care TAX. )
    Arm yourselves!
    The best pro-gun arguement for the moronic spouse is , “…let’s say you call 911, and WHEN they finally do show up, are they armed and ready? or not?… and, can you afford to wait?”

  28. Jack, thanks for the courage for addressing some of the unpleasant thoughts and bringing on Selco, Fernando, and Joe Nobody!

    Selco cuts through the romantic dribble of the movies and fiction and brings home the calamity. I tend to think a breakdown in most places would be more like Fernando describes in Argentina, but who’s the “prophet” and can say for sure? One thing is clear to me from hearing interviews, seeing documentaries, talking to people who have lived through it, and reading about the depression, Argentina, Rwanda, Cambodia, China, post-war Europe, the Balkans or anywhere else that has suffered a collapse, no matter what flavor it is absolutely awful. Can we so arrogantly say it could never happen hear? And how will we describe to our children or family members old or young that we did not prepare even though we knew the potential for bad things?

    I purchased the course, which I think was well worth it. Selco shows how similar we are even if we live may thousands of miles away.

  29. Great interview Jack.

    I was wondering if/when you’d ever host Selco. He’s a long time survival “hero” of mine (he and FerFal) because of the realness. Neither one of them was really looking for survival glory, but they were able to act in the moment, and live to warn others.

    I would love it if he were a regular guest!

  30. I loved reading all his posts on another forum about a year ago. So real.
    He sounds very paranoid in how he survived! I will do the same when the time arrives.

  31. This is an amazing interview and a real eye-opener. It is terrifying to know what really happens in these situations and how evil and brutal humans can be to each other.

    My wife and I honeymooned in Croatia and Slovenia in 2006, when Croatia was named the travel destination of the year. It was so beautiful that it is difficult to comprehend the horror that was only a decade before. We stayed at an agrotourism where we had the best eggs we have ever tasted. This is one of the experiences that really inspired us to homestead.

    Lisa- thank you for posting the footage.

    A Nonny Mouse- thank you for transcribing the interview. It was most helpful!

  32. Selco said there were people who survived alone… not very many, but it can happen. I’m not planning on it.