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Hey, Preppers: You Will Not Survive Without Food

In fact, you will be eaten alive.

Hidden Harvest: Long Term Food Storage Techniques For Rich and Poor by L. Joseph Mountain

Written and Published by a veteran activist for Liberty and well known DailyPaul contributor.


I see nothing but talk about precious metals and guns by preppers. They are by and large lone preppers, they aren't organized in any cohesive group. Their training, if they have any, is not in the context of a group.

They foresee a collapse or breakdown of society in the future, whatever the details, and imagine their preparation as individuals will be adequate.

They picture a future economy in ruins, a shattered state with a collapse of law and order. And in this doomsday scenario, they picture themselves living and acting as individuals, bartering with precious metals, protecting their land and possessions with stores of firearms and ammunition.

This is a pipe dream.

The absolute and immediate reality of any actual collapse would be the immediate ascendance and domination of violent gangs, whether private gangs of the most capable and ruthless criminals, or fragments of the former military and law enforcement apparatus.

Within a short period of time, they would seize everything of any value. No lone individuals could hold out against them, if they weren't part of a well organized group, in which case they would also be just another gang.

If we rule out a restoration of general law and order, the resulting anarchy would be controlled by organized violence, carried out by the largest and most capable gangs.

The morality of it does not matter. That is what would happen.


So what can lone, individual preppers, or small groups of preppers, actually do to survive in the potential breakdown?

The key factors in their mortal durability would be mobility, and access to food. And, lack of conspicuous possessions.

If you're mobile, and don't have visible possession of large stores of property (fuel, weapons, ammo, land, etc.), you will more or less be left alone if you do not engage in aggression or trespassing on gang held territory.

Your key asset will be mobility and access to stores of food. Your mobility will depend on you being far away from any centers of power.

Your access to food will not be from agriculture, but from grazing for edible sources of wild plants, occasional hunting and trapping, and access to large, prepared stores of hidden, preserved food in scattered, spread out locations.

Hidden, long term, durable stores of food are a matter of life and death for a lone prepper, more so than any amount of rifles, pistols, silver, gold, ammo, land, or fuel.

For a lone prepper, all of the above things would be seized in a week by organized groups of better armed, trained, and provisioned killers.

Everything possessed openly in a fixed location would be taken, be it land of any value, precious metals (useless if hidden), guns and ammunition, and fuel.

As an individual with no visible property, you would have a chance of being left alone.

For a lone individual, anything of value would have to be buried or hidden, and you better be a stealthy, quiet and capable individual, able to defend yourself in a pinch without being too aggressive.

Food alone would be of immediate, dire importance to you.

Organized groups, needing to eat, would likely have adequate food supplies on the lands they control, and wouldn't be hunting out lone preppers to find their stores of preserved food.


If you really believe a collapse is coming, you should be more interested in learning about getting food on the move, and storing food in hidden places, than vain hopes of getting by on a fixed locale with some ammo and silver. That is not realistic.

You should obviously also hide and store ammo, weapons, precious metals, etc. but not at the expense of the first priority, an adequate supply of food.

Your first order of business as a prepper is to learn how to be food secure.

You can get much of the technical know-how on this subject from the book Hidden Harvest: Long Term Food Storage Techniques, by L. Joseph Mountain, aka 'Smudge Pot.' The book is $3.99.

His real story and real name are told in the book and in interviews he has done for DailyPaul. Anyone here can speak with him for advice and information.

He has a record of unblemished, selfless service to the cause of Liberty, and has written a personal testament, semi-biography, and contribution to the knowledge that may well see many of us through darker times ahead. This is a book you should own and read.

Guys. Don't get caught out with faux prepping.

Don't be a loudmouthed fool who thinks you will get through tough times because you own silver and a gun with some ammo. You will be eaten alive.

The motto for the apocalypse is: Don't be food, store food!

Then you might have a small chance.

Hidden Harvest: Long Term Food Storage Techniques For Rich and Poor

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last thing I want to be is a

last thing I want to be is a refugee. If you do not have your own place, how can you store food?


Don't know if it's been mentioned, but it seems to me that it would be
well worthwhile to be able to identify opportunities for gleaning
under SHTF type conditions.

As a philosopher Texan once commented to me about modern
folks who can barely recognize something as food if it doesn't
come in a package with microwave instructions, "Those kind of
people couldn't look at a goat and get hungry."

Backyard fruit or nut trees, unharvested crops from abandoned
fields, suburban deer, park pigeons... all potential food sources
that many if not most people would likely not recognize if they
were looking right at it/them.

Nothing you would want to rely on
exclusively, but whatever you can acquire that way is going to
stretch whatever you've managed to store in advance.

Good to get yourself into a hunter-gatherer frame of mind about
that sort of thing, I'm thinking..

While I agree with the need to prep food (both meanings)

I sort of disagree with the concept of stockpiling it. Sure, there are things you may want to keep a larger stock of, things you can't really make yourself like salt, olive oil, various cheeses,etc., but we should be moving toward growing the right quantity of it year round to match our expected needs.

If you stockpile anything of relative high value, you then become a target for those who didn't. I envision such stockpilers becoming well known in the after-economy and always watching their backs. On the other side of the coin, those only growing a week's worth of fish and veggies, spices and spuds will instead, become valuable PEOPLE because only they know how to keep the system producing endlessly.

As far as the idea of having a bug-out, remote location to run to, that's similarly insane. Why wait to change where you live (and risk the hassles of moving during the crisis) when we all know prepping the site you're now living at will be much more effective. Either make due then or move now.

Wanna do an "ask Smudge"?

Bill said you guys can ask me questions and that would be fun.

The questions I get these days have to do with your specific environment. Recently somebody asked how they do a root cellar when the water table is about 36" down. Well ok that's a challenge. Evaporative cooling helped them but I think we're looking at a DIY thermal exhange thing, they say at water level they have a thermal break and it's 65F year round.

OK that's a start.

So I guess I'm at the level of expertise to where we're really applying these thing locally and bioregionally which is...well it's just plain fun. A challenge is refreshing.

I'm still waiting for somebody from Alaska to tell us how it works. If they use root cellars or dry storage and do they still harvest ice and strawbox it? And can they use the land to NOT have things freeze? Because I have no clue. And I can't wait to find out.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

Jefferson's picture


there has been some focus on food as a prep.

That led to the creation of this thread as well.

Jim McClarin (below) makes some good points in his blog too. I think it is important (if possible) to live close to the edge of a city and have an even more remote "fallback" position if needed.

If you would like to contribute to the miscellaneous useful info thread, I'll be happy to edit and include whatever you submit. I'll add Smudge Pot's book even though both of you made relentless fun of me for my "Battered Wife Syndrome" thread.....8)

Relentless fun.

Yeah sounds like Bill and me fer sher.

I'm happy to communicate with other groups. Stuff like storage and bushcraft represent the fun part of prepping for me, very much the point where it turns into a kind of hobby or recreational pursuit.

I also like how food is totally non-political. Everybody eats. Someone once said the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Perhaps it works more generally.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

All the serious preppers I

All the serious preppers I know of have long cared about food security. They don't just store food for an emergency, some of them learn how to grow it efficiently. Something I want to do myself. In a catastrophe, I don't want to just survive. I want to be able to help my neighbors.

Besides - it's in the

self-interest of others to help those who have valuable
practical skills - of which food production and processing/storing
are pretty high up the list of useful things to be able to do.

If you can do this, not only are you better placed to help
others, they have an incentive to help you.

I have grown wheat and barley before and given halfway
decent conditions it is something that can be done with
the most basic of tools and inputs - easier than a lot
of vegetables. Most people don't know that, however
since hardly anyone has ever tried (people that I know, anyway).

Now, I want to get to a higher level with my ability to process
grains - next goal is malting grains! Wood fired oven would
be good, too...

Knowing the basics of and having the basic infrastructure
for food production, processing and storage is huge IMHO -
think I need to acquire Smudge Pot's book.

Here's one I have acquired that Smudge and other preppers
could probably appreciate:

Not enough attention to food?

Is this true?

It's been part of US libertarian/constitutionalist orthodoxy for so long, the 4 Gs: Gold, God, Guns and Grub. Have we truly neglected the grub part?

I guess I can see why, you buy a gun once and it's pretty much done. Ammo doesn't require much shelf maintenance and gold lasts forever. Much more of a "one and done" affair. However eating is something we'd all like to continue doing each and every day at least until we die which is an event we'd theoretically like to put off as long as possible.

Part of my intent in writing was to kind of make food prepping part of your PRESENT DAILY LIFESTYLE. It comes with the benefits of saving money, a healthier diet and an overall improved sense of personal well being. So at that rate you aren't really prepping but IMPROVING IN PLACE. So you are getting a return on your investment right from day one. No matter if disaster happens now or never.

I guess I'd call it "practical prepping" or "common sense prepping".

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

Facebook Group on the subject

I'm in a Facebook group that have a ton of good information on the subject.

Feel free to join.

If you find it helpful

maybe we can do a thing for your facebook group. Maybe give some copies away or something. Lemme know.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

I dream of a world where

I dream of a world where people who love freedom won't post links to facebook.

Hearty AHO there.

Try as I might I just can't bring myself to join the facebook thing. I just can't do it.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

I don't think things can ever be that bad.

At least not where I am. If all electricity is out and the government collapses, I see that as a return to civility. The community will not cannibalize itself, but band together. Strangers will be forced to work together to make a new life. Communities won't be disconnected anymore.

Food, seeds, and water are the most important things to store, but I don't think gangs will run everything just because the government isn't there to stop them.

End The Fed!
BTC: 1A3JAJwLVG2pz8GLfdgWhcePMtc3ozgWtz

i think you'll be unpleasantly surprised.

many jews thought the same while hitler was rising to power. men have a propensity to evil.

Christians should not be warmongers!

I got a place in the Mountains of NH

I am way off the beaten path at the end of a dirt road on the top of the hill. I am heading up to plant some apple tree's tomorrow. I will be putting in crops this year and installing self watering food systems. I will be splitting my time between the two places this year and will make the permanent move in the next year or two. I hope the collapse will hold off for the next year or two ... besides it seems more like a crumble then a collapse.

I have been growing in CT for two years now experimenting and will be doing rabbits in the next couple of weeks. Chickens will need to wait until I make the move but my buddy has them so I am not worried about that.

I should get the book.

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Stand up For your Civil Rights

I envy you most completely.

I miss swimming in lakes most dearly at times. Real ones and not these holes in the sand full of water we have in Arizona.

So. bunnies. My last (first) book stayed away from production completely just to retain some focus. And also because I really am not that great at growing things, in fact I stink. No idea why. Not like I don't keep trying.

But I have always done well with animals and they have always been just great to me. I love chickens. Not just in the culinary sense, I like them and it's too easy to feel love back from chickens, you are a ROCK STAR.

Bunnies I also love raising up and cycling through the process but they are considerably trickier than chickens. And I guess I know more than a bit I can tell you about raising them at scale.

What do you think I do a short ebook on bunnies? Besides their care and feeding and behavior and common maladies, the BREEDING SCHEDULE IS ABSOLUTELY PARAMOUNT WITH BUNNIES.

I also think bunnies in general are a great introduction to animal husbandry because they are small, relatively easily managed (can be aggressive, watch your hands) and you get used to thinking of each animal as requiring very specific care.

Yeah I love plants but since when can you play fetch with a tree? Bunnies are very interactive and you can actually play ball with them. And fickle. Bunnies like furniture and they like it JUST THAT CERTAIN WAY. Try to put everything back EXACTLY THE WAY IT WAS when you clean their cages or they get wicked pissed and bunnies have oh so many ways to let you know they are ENRAGED with you.

Vocal? Think they are quiet do you? Heh. Just wait.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

Thanks smuge

I have been learning by trial and error ... mostly error ; ^ )

Patriot News
Stand up For your Civil Rights

metalhed19's picture

Bill3 strikes again....

Bill3 strikes again....

*Wisconsin Constitution* Article I, Section 25 "The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security,defense,hunting,recreation or any other law-abiding purpose"

Very true

Here's what you would need to have to defend against gangs, assuming they were not equipped like a true military force:

Notice the fallback position.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

If that kind of collapse were to happen~~

I agree with the commenter that said "communities would band together". It is true. Suddenly, suburbia neighbors would have meetings and make a plan to defend their neighborhoods.

We already have a "criminal watch" in our neighborhood. Big cities are the most vulnerable. Living in smaller populated states is the best, like Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

If you can move to these states, you are better off, regardless.

I doubt society would collapse & government give up their "control". The ONLY thing that could happen to us would be a massive worldwide nuclear war. If the government keeps pushing other countries over the edge, they may get exactly what they want, but instead of being flown to their little underground hideaways, they may be incinerated in the air without enough notice to get away.

THEN, their DAY OF JUDGMENT will come before God, and it won't be pretty.

If you are not aware of the threat from EMP attack,

I suggest reading "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen. Just a single very-high-altitude nuclear blast could send the contiguous United States back to the horse & buggy days, except that there are far more people, far fewer horses, and practically no buggies. No radioactive fallout to speak of but at least a couple hundred million would die from loss of infrastructure. The same effects can also be caused by a big solar storm or CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) that strikes Earth dead on.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.


"Then you might have a small chance."


For the price of a gallon of gas you get a tome of humor and knowledge.

you guys can also consider

you guys can also consider this an open thread to ask the author (DP's one and only Smudge Pot) any and all questions about food storage and preservation. anything from cooked meat to buried seeds for growing food down the line.

these are very valid points.

these are very valid points. Everyone should watch the movie cyborg to see what kind of violent gangs they may be up against.It could get that bad. If there are people who have not eaten for days they will do anything to get food. The ex police could be the most violent gang of all.


also learning how to grow food and saving seed from what you grow. You can plant out some things all over - carrots are related to Queens Anne's Lace (considered a weed) and will look like that when in flower. Potatoes can be grown under forest debris and hidden by branches. The onion/garlic family can also been grown just about anywhere and garlic also has medicinal uses. Saving seed is on my mind a lot because we don't want that junk GMO seed contaminating our food supply.
I was thinking about this last night. People are hoarding ammo, weapons, silver, etc but what about organic seed? Once the rebuilding starts, clean seed will be worth more than gold. We have to start seed saving.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

Good post

Hidden Harvest is a must read -- very informative and entertaining.

Partially disagree.

As you mentioned, groups will have the advantage.

Food is definitely critical, but I believe that a preparedness-minded community is the way to go, rather than any "lone survivor" silliness.

If the community is isolated enough, takes proper precautions (particularly in remaining inconspicuous), maintains lots of food production and is well-armed, I believe that they would be the best chance of surviving.

Think about it. Let's take an EMP scenario. The cities would tear themselves apart swiftly. Within a couple of weeks hordes would be fleeing whilst killing each other. Obviously, they'll head for the country. Sounds like a death sentence for our prepping community, right? Wrong. That is a TON of ground to cover, and most modern people have zero sense of geography. To make it anywhere, they'd have to rely on roads.

If our community - let's say it's in the Appalachians of North Carolina, a region I'm relatively familiar with - is properly prepped, they'll be able to have EASY advance warning of the hordes, and the odds of the desperate masses finding them are slim to none.

One travelling individual may be less likely to be picked on, but he'll be easy prey for any gang of scavengers. A well-prepared community on the other hand stands a much better chance of long term survival.

i agree w all of this. but

i agree w all of this. but for those who are prepping as lone individuals, i think my points are apt.